The French city of Arles boasts of having been the place that most inspired Vincent van Gogh in his last months of life. It is the place that captivated the Dutch painter and inspired him to paint several hundred works. For that reason, today you can follow in his footsteps through this beautiful city in the south of France.
The artistic and monumental wealth of Arles
Following in the footsteps of Van Gogh through Arles is one of the great attractions of this city in Provence. But he’s not the only one. We are talking about a place centuries old. Do not forget that The Romans settled in this region and in places like Orange or Nimes they left behind great monuments, such as the Arles amphitheatre, which is still in use as a bullring.
And after the Romans, other peoples and other times bequeathed their monuments to this Rhône city. For example, the wonderful Romanesque church of San Trófimo. However, today we are going to visit this city bathed by the Rhône River by the hand of Van Gogh, so we are going to talk about that next.
Van Gogh’s route in Arles
Nowadays, the entire center of Arles is plagued with indications of places that he reflected in his paintings. And in fact, we are going to present you the most charismatic ones that you can contemplate:
The yellow house
In the Place Lamartine Van Gogh had his second residence in Arles. When he arrived in February 1888, he first looked for a cheap hotel. But then, as he accumulated paintings in his room and began to think about creating an artists’ colony in Provence, he came to the conclusion that he had to rent a larger space.
That was the yellow house on Place Lamartine. A property that no longer exists todaybut which is clearly remembered at various points in Arles, for example in the form of souvenir shops.
The night coffee
Another key spot on the Van Gogh route through Arles is the café on the Place du Forum. The old café remains open in this square, evoking as much as possible the aspect with which the Dutch master painted it, both on its terrace and inside. Although, the old billiards on the canvas is no longer in the location seen in one of his most emblematic works.
The fact is that entering this establishment that Van Gogh painted with the title of night coffee It is almost a must during this trip. What is not required is to drink as sickly as he did. And the chronicles say that his alcoholism was one of the causes of his mental and health problems.
The Langlois Bridge
Van Gogh lived a lot at night, but to take advantage of the light of Provence that so amazed him, he went out to work around Arles. He painted various fields of labor or the banks of the river. Although, without a doubt, one of the most emblematic images is the Langlois bridge over the canal. A site that has also been incorporated into this artistic route.
the starry sky
Although you will be fascinated by the natural light of Provence, it is undeniable that he was a night owl character. And that is also evident in other paintings, such as the one he painted on the banks of the Rhône and giving absolute prominence to a sky full of stars.
The Van Gogh Space in Arles
The tragic end of the artist in 1890 in the nearby town of Auvers sur Oise, where he committed suicide, is well known. But before that sad event, passed a last crisis in Arles. Crisis increased by the abandonment he suffered from Gauguin, whom he considered his friend and who had to lead an entire community of artists.
The fact is that due to his follies and excesses, almost by popular acclamation, he was confined in the old arlesian hospital. A building that, of course, he also painted and that today, in homage to the artist, bears the name of Espace Van Gogh. It is a cultural space that, without a doubt, is the best ending to this walk in the footsteps of Vincent.