Vincent's Yellow

a[n] [auto]biography and a love story.

The Church at Auvers

I have so very many photos, I think I will have to parse them out in little packages of stories and share them with you all that way when I get back.

But for now, I wanted to show you the church at Auvers-sur-Oise, because it seriously might be my favorite place of worship in the world. Last week, I saw the painting first, at Musee d’Orsay. I can’t possibly capture this radiant blue, but here maybe you can catch a few of the details, and what an incredible painting it is. Very interesting is the length of the church’s shadow in contrast to the sky – it leaves the time of day a bit “flexible”…

Church painting whole

Although I still think it was probably done midday, and the sky was just too brilliant to ignore.

Church Painting detail

I love the detail of this figure, making the church the every day building it is.

Church painting detail

The following day, I was lucky enough to see the real thing, and it took my breath away.

Approach Real Church

Real church.

Real church buttresses

They are doing work to restore it, obviously, but this is the angle from which he painted it. They have signs all over Auvers marking where and what he painted…

Real Church

It was in Auvers where Vincent lived out the last 70 days of his life, creating over 70 paintings during those days. At the end, he shot himself in the chest, in a nearby field of wheat. Unfortunately, he missed his heart, and it took him a day and a half to die. He passed this church on his way to the fields, on his way stumbling back into town, and then in his coffin on the way to his grave.

At the cemetery, I was devastated. I have made you so alive, so a part of my life, Vincent, that I was stunned by your grave. It was the loss of a loved one. I could not leave right away nor could I stay in the cemetery, so I went and sat alongside the church and cried for some time. The exquisite light of dusk kept me company, and the cool breeze wrapped around me in an embrace.

Thank you. I needed that.

Real church side

Fri, August 21 2009 » Personal, Travel

3 Responses

  1. Timothy Caldwell August 21 2009 @ 13:03

    These photos show me how much Vincent painted from life. That’s a gorgeous awesome crazy-looking church.

    Your tears and heartache are now a part of that place, just as his are.

  2. Kathryn August 21 2009 @ 20:05

    churches, and trees, attempt to knit together heaven and earth

  3. Teresa August 24 2009 @ 04:23

    Thank you, Timothy.

    Kathryn, I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for that image – I will keep it in my heart.

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