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The place where 'The Yellow House' used to be, Arles, France | by Strabanephotos
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The place where 'The Yellow House' used to be, Arles, France

The Yellow House used to be on the grassy area in the photograph.

 

Vincent Van Gogh's period in Arles.

 

From Wikipedia: Arles (February 1888 – May 1889)

 

Van Gogh arrived on 21 February 1888, at the railroad station in Arles, crossed Place Lamartine, entered the city through the Porte de la Cavalerie, and took quarters a few steps further, at the Hôtel-Restaurant Carrel, 30 Rue Cavalerie. He had ideas of founding a Utopian art colony. His companion for two months was the Danish artist, Christian Mourier-Petersen. In March, he painted local landscapes, using a gridded "perspective frame." Three of his pictures were shown at the annual exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants. In April he was visited by the American painter, Dodge MacKnight, who was resident in Fontvieille nearby.

 

On 1 May he signed a lease for 15 francs a month to rent the four rooms in the right hand side of the "Yellow House" (so called because its outside walls were yellow) at No. 2 Place Lamartine. The house was unfurnished and had been uninhabited for some time so he was not able to move in straight away. He had been staying at the Hôtel Restaurant Carrel in the Rue de la Cavalerie, just inside the medieval gate to the city, with the old Roman Arena in view. The rate charged by the hotel was 5 francs a week, which Van Gogh regarded as excessive. He disputed the price, and took the case to the local arbitrator who awarded him a twelve franc reduction on his total bill. On 7 May he moved out of the Hôtel Carrel, and moved into the Café de la Gare. He became friends with the proprietors, Joseph and Marie Ginoux. Although the Yellow House had to be furnished before he could fully move in, Van Gogh was able to use it as a studio. His major project at this time was a series of paintings intended to form the décoration for the Yellow House.

 

In June he visited Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. He gave drawing lessons to a Zouave second lieutenant, Paul-Eugène Milliet, who also became a companion. MacKnight introduced him to Eugène Boch, a Belgian painter, who stayed at times in Fontvieille (they exchanged visits in July). Gauguin agreed to join him in Arles. In August he painted sunflowers; Boch visited again. On 8 September, upon advice from his friend the station's postal supervisor Joseph Roulin, he bought two beds, and he finally spent the first night in the still sparsely furnished Yellow House on 17 September.

 

On 23 October Gauguin eventually arrived in Arles, after repeated requests from Van Gogh. During November they painted together. Uncharacteristically, Van Gogh painted some pictures from memory, deferring to Gauguin's ideas in this. Their first joint outdoor painting exercise was conducted at the picturesque Alyscamps. It was in November that Van Gogh painted The Red Vineyard.

 

In December the two artists visited Montpellier and viewed works by Courbet and Delacroix in the Museé Fabre. However, their relationship was deteriorating badly. They quarrelled fiercely about art. Van Gogh felt an increasing fear that Gauguin was going to desert him, and what he described as a situation of "excessive tension" reached a crisis point on 23 December 1888, when Van Gogh stalked Gauguin with a razor and then cut off the lower part of his own left ear lobe, which he wrapped in newspaper and gave to a prostitute named Rachel in the local brothel, asking her to "keep this object carefully." Gauguin left Arles and did not see Van Gogh again. Van Gogh was hospitalised and in a critical state for a few days. He was immediately visited by Theo (whom Gauguin had notified), as well as Madame Ginoux and frequently by Roulin. In January 1889 Van Gogh returned to the "Yellow House", but spent the following month between hospital and home, suffering from hallucinations and paranoia that he was being poisoned. In March the police closed his house, after a petition by thirty townspeople, who called him fou roux ("the redheaded madman"). Signac visited him in hospital and Van Gogh was allowed home in his company. In April he moved into rooms owned by Dr. Rey, after floods damaged paintings in his own home. On 17 April Theo married Johanna Bonger in Amsterdam.

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Uploaded on August 9, 2008