Obtaining Van Gogh in Arles: A Self-Guided Art Route in the South of France


Seeking for Van Gogh in Arles? Here’s how to do a self-guided Van Gogh art route in the South of France. 

Vincent Van Gogh is 1 of the most prolific painters in history, producing additional than two,000 operates of art. Regrettably, he was a tortured artist and is identified for cutting off his left ear in a bout of mania.

Van Gogh spent a lot of time in asylums and hospitals to treat his mental well being challenges. Throughout that time, painting served as his release.

As opposed to other artists that are reclusive and leave us to guess as to their motivation/thoughts when producing a function of art, Van Gogh was an open book. Actually. He penned additional letters than any other popular artist of his time, regularly explaining his believed procedure and plans to his brother Theo, his closest confidante, and other buddies and loved ones.

These days, Van Gogh’s paintings are scattered all more than the globe, from London to Chicago to Amsterdam. It is not possible to locate them all in 1 location. If you go to the South of France, nonetheless, you can see the genuine life areas he painted, walking in Van Gogh’s footsteps. 

The majority of the areas on this list are in Arles, exactly where Van Gogh lived and worked for several years. Some are also in Saint Remy, exactly where Van Gogh was committed in the later aspect of his life. Saint Remy is only a half hour away from Arles and tends to make for an uncomplicated road trip. 


If you want to chase Van Gogh in Arles, go to the tourism workplace and get a map for 1 Euro. From there, it is uncomplicated to show oneself about the town. There are placards at designated web pages on the art route so you can not miss them. 

This is a non-exhaustive list and there are several additional areas in the region exactly where you can see artwork come to life. Right here are some of the highlights of my search for Vincent Van Gogh in the South of France. 

The Bedroom painted by Van Gogh in ArlesReplica found in Saint Remy

The Bedroom is 1 of Van Gogh’s most popular paintings. There are 3 in existence, displaying the bedroom he had when he lived in the Yellow Home in Arles. By the way, that residence no longer exists so please do not waste two hours seeking for it like I did.

Given that the original bedroom is no longer obtainable, the people at the Saint-Paul de Mausolée Asylum and Monastery place collectively this replica. The location nonetheless serves as a psychiatric hospital but is an ode to Van Gogh, with prints of his paintings hung all through the premises and a present shop filled with Van Gogh souvenirs. 

Painting of olive trees at the asylumOlive trees as seen on the walk into the asylum

This is a field of olive trees outdoors of the asylum. Van Gogh painted several scenes from the region, obtaining respite in nature anytime he was offered permission to roam the grounds. He described them as “venerable, gnarled olive trees.” Van Gogh wrote:

“The impact of daylight and the sky signifies there are endless subjects to be located in olive trees. For myself I appear for the contrasting effects in the foliage, which adjustments with the tones of the sky. At occasions, when the tree bares its pale blossoms and major blue flies, emerald fruit beetles and cicadas in fantastic numbers fly about, almost everything is immersed in pure blue.”

He felt that by interacting with nature, we could connect with the divine. As I walked about the premises to the tune of the cicadas, I couldn’t assist but agree. 

Courtyard as painted by Van GoghCourtyard at the former hospital as it looks today

The courtyard of the former Arles Hospital, now identified as “Espace Van Gogh,” is the topic of this painting. The vantage point is from Van Gogh’s space. The garden is effectively maintained and just as vibrant currently as it was additional than 100 years ago. Flowers featured in the painting include irises, pansies and poppies. 

Aside from the courtyard, there’s not a lot to do right here. The location is no longer operational but is maintained as a tribute to the artist who produced it popular, in spite of him not getting a welcome or an uncomplicated patient whilst he was there. 

Van Gogh's ampitheater paintingStanding in the empty ampitheater

In the Van Gogh painting, the amphitheater is packed for a bullfight. The focus is on the crowd, nonetheless, not the show. The viewers contain Van Gogh’s buddies and acquaintances, which he usually utilised as subjects in other paintings.

Even though in Arles, Van Gogh had a roommate, Paul Guaguin. He mimicked his style in this painting with flattened space and patches of colour. 

Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at NightView of the cafe from the outside today

This was 1 of the earlier operates that Van Gogh painted upon arriving in Arles, and the initial 1 that he painted at evening. The yellow cafe, illuminated from inside, stands in sharp contrast to the evening.

These days, the cafe is nonetheless operational, even though I wouldn’t propose consuming there. It is pricey and critiques are not fantastic. In an work to capitalize off the place, it is known as Cafe Van Gogh now.

There’s been a lot of improvement given that the late 1800’s, so you will have a difficult time seeing the terrace unobstructed and at the very same angle that Van Gogh painted unless you are dining there. 

Van Gogh's bridge painting with cart crossing and women washing clothesView of the bridge and canal midday

This bridge is the topic of 4 paintings Van Gogh produced. The painting featuring the ladies washing garments by the water is the most well-liked of the series. He stated the canal reminded him of Amsterdam. At the time he painted it, Van Gogh was influenced by Japanese woodcut prints, working with straightforward colors and types to distill nature down to its essence and diagonal lines to direct the viewer’s eye. 

The bridge has given that been rebuilt and is known as Pont Van Gogh. It is positioned slightly outdoors the city and is not simply accessible if you are walking. 

Van Gogh's painting of park entrance in ArlesStanding at the entrance to the park

Van Gogh painted this park often given that it was close to his residence. Right here we see the entrance, modernized more than the final 150 years to contain new building and improvement. The people today in the scene are all enjoying restful activities.

In his letters, Van Gogh wrote that the sky was a marvelous blue, with the sun shedding “a radiance of pure sulphur.” The emphasis of this piece, nonetheless appears not to be the heavens but the earth, with heavy use of green to convert the lushness of nature. 

Corridor drawing by Van GoghActual view of the corridor at the asylum

This view of the corridor at Saint Remy was captured for the duration of Van Gogh’s voluntary 12-month remain. It is not an oil painting, nonetheless, but a watercolor drawing located at the MET Museum in New York. Van Gogh sent it to his brother Theo to give him a improved thought of his surroundings. 

Aside from getting unusually significant for a drawing, Van Gogh infuses colour exactly where there is none. The hallway is cold and ominous in genuine life, but in Van Gogh’s painting it is nearly rainbow colored. 

Notably, Van Gogh usually utilised a mustard colour for his yellows, as if the mute the inherent happiness of the hue. It is believed that Van Gogh could possibly have suffered from xanthopsia, a colour vision deficiency which causes a predominance of yellow in the vision, as a outcome of getting treated with digitalis whilst committed. 

Vase of sunflowers painted by Van GoghSingle sunflower in a field

You will not locate a particular vase with sunflowers in them, but driving about Arles tends to make it uncomplicated to see why Van Gogh was so obsessed with the flower. Sunflowers symbolize happiness and hope. This series was completed for the duration of a additional optimistic time in Van Gogh’s life, when he’d just moved to Arles and was awaiting for the arrival of Guaguin. He’d hoped to type an artist’s neighborhood in the region with Guaguin as his mentor. 

Probably indicative of his inner struggles, the sunflowers in Van Gogh’s depiction are never ever noticed in complete splendor, but rather a handful of days soon after getting picked, when they’re slightly wilted. It is believed that Van Gogh painted the flowers as decoration for his bedroom. 

Van Gogh's painting of Starry Night Over the RhoneView of the Rhone at night

The evening sky served as inspiration for Starry Evening More than the Rhone. It was painted from a vantage point just two minutes from Van Gogh’s residence. Later, Van Gogh would paint the sky our Saint Remy in 1 of his most popular pieces, The Starry Evening. 

This piece captures the gas lighting of the time as it glimmered across the water. In the bottom suitable corner, two lovers are noticed strolling at evening. 

These days, contemporary electrical energy requires away some of the magic, and an excess of ambient lighting tends to make the sky a lot significantly less impressive (I didn’t see extremely several stars) but the standard outline remains and you can image Van Gogh walking along the water at evening, hoping to locate some solace. 


Till subsequent time, secure travels! 

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Are you a Vincent Van Gogh fan? Did you know you can visit some of the real life places he featured in his works on a self-guided art walk around Arles, France? Here's everything you need to know to find Van Gogh in the South of France. Save to your travel board for future reference! #vangogh #vangoghart #arlesfrance #southoffrance #francetravel #francetraveltips #arlesfrancevangogh
Are you a Vincent Van Gogh fan? Did you know you can visit some of the real life places he featured in his works on a self-guided art walk around Arles, France? Here's everything you need to know to find Van Gogh in the South of France. Save to your travel board for future reference! #vangogh #vangoghart #arlesfrance #southoffrance #francetravel #francetraveltips #arlesfrancevangogh

Did you know you can visit the real life places Van Gogh painted on a self-guided art tour of the South of France? Here's everything you need to know to chase Vincent Van Gogh in France. Save to your travel board for future reference! #vangogh #vangoghart #arlesfrance #southoffrance #francetravel #francetraveltips #arlesfrancevangogh  Are you a Vincent Van Gogh fan? Did you know you can visit some of the real life places he featured in his works on a self-guided art walk around Arles, France? Here's everything you need to know to find Van Gogh in the South of France. Save to your travel board for future reference! #vangogh #vangoghart #arlesfrance #southoffrance #francetravel #francetraveltips #arlesfrancevangogh


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