Vincent's Yellow

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

The Last of Arles

I come here with a heavy heart this week, Reader. Often times, being an artist is quite lonely and isolating. Your work cannot be understood until it is finished — you cannot be understood, either. Not by many, anyway. I know Vincent felt the same way.

And so I offer you some beauty I encountered in Arles, the last of it. After this, there is St. Remy and little more. I see the end in sight of these photos, and I know soon I must bear onwards with full and utter strength, into writing and reflecting further on my experiences and their meaning. I will continue posting about my progress in my work, my discoveries and encounters with Vincent, and I hope you will stay with me, Reader.

For now — a few last jewels of Arles. In truth, I have little to say other than “Look – beauty!” But then, that is what Vincent does for me every time I return to him, it is what keeps me closely tied to him. No matter how dark the path may get, he holds my hand, and whispers in my ear… Look! Beauty! And so maybe that will be enough for you, as it is for me.

Langlois Bridge with Women Washing, 1888

Of course, as usual with Arles, this is only a reconstruction of the bridge, at the location where the bridge once stood. Vincent painted it four times, and many think it reminded him of the bridges in the Netherlands. Despite it being – yet again – a forgery, what I find quite touching is that this is not really in the center of Arles, but a good ten minute drive out. It was built finally, because enough people had come for it, asking, where is the Langlois Bridge?

I like the idea of so many coming, looking for you.

It is not used, it is simply a monument to you. For you. Suffice it to say, I like this one much better than the bust.

The Courtyard at the Hospital at Arles, 1889

Well, yes, it looks quite similar still, doesn’t it? This is the hospital within Arles where Vincent was first brought after his ear had been cut, and he lied all night bleeding in his bed. He was discovered in this condition, since Gauguin had long since abandoned the scene the night before. He stayed in this hospital for one month before he was released and more or less forced into the asylum at St Remy. Still, in this one month, he had the time and force to create a painting.

The place itself, while decoratively (and botanically) restored, retains its architecture, with history seeping in at the seams.

Though these days the location is called L’Espace Van Gogh, it is used mostly for art shows and cultural events that have little to do with you, Vincent.

I wandered the halls that were open to me, and imagined your thoughts here.

Then I wrote for some time in the garden, and there I found you blossoming still…

Could you help but plan a painting of this garden, while you sat here in pain gazing on these flowers?

I imagine, as much as I can help but think of you.

Mon, December 7 2009 » Personal, Photo entries, Research, Travel

2 Responses

  1. Timmy Caldwell December 7 2009 @ 15:55

    This exquisite rendering of your visit is worthy of Vincent.

  2. Judy Veramendi December 7 2009 @ 17:51

    These memories of Arles warm me all over, heart and soul, on a cold snowy day. Merci, Vincent!

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