Van Gogh in 1889-1890, hospitalization, Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh entered the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum on 8 May 1889. Some of his works from this time are characterised by swirls, such as The Starry Night. He was allowed short supervised walks, during which time he painted cypresses and olive trees, including Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background 1889, Cypresses 1889, Cornfield with Cypresses (1889), Country road in Provence by Night (1890).

Limited access to life outside the clinic resulted in a shortage of subject matter. Van Gogh instead worked on interpretations of other artist’s paintings, such as Millet’s The Sower and Noonday Rest, and variations on his own earlier work.

Once Vincent had recovered sufficiently at the clinic in Saint-Rémy, he began working again. On his good days, he often painted in the institution’s walled garden and he was later allowed to work outside the hospital too.

He was also given an extra room inside the clinic to use as a studio, where he produced a series of works, including copies of prints after paintings by artists like Rembrandt and Millet.

Vincent’s mental health continued to fluctuate. During one period of extreme confusion, he ate some of his oil paint, following which he was restricted to drawing for a while. Despite such relapses, however, Vincent was exceptionally productive at Saint-Rémy, where he completed around 150 paintings in the space of a year.

Auvers-sur-Oise
Vincent left the mental hospital in Saint-Rémy in May 1890 and headed north to Auvers-sur-Oise, where several artists were already residing.

Auvers offered Vincent the peace and quiet he needed, while being close enough to Paris for him to visit his brother Theo. There was a doctor there too, Paul Gachet, who could keep an eye on him. Vincent quickly befriended Gachet, himself an amateur painter, who advised Van Gogh to devote himself completely to his art. He did precisely that, painting the gardens and wheatfields around the village at a feverish rate.

Vincent threw himself entirely into his painting in this period, completing virtually a work a day. His health seemed to be improving, too.

‘. . . knowing clearly what I wanted I’ve painted another three large canvases since then. They’re immense stretches of wheatfields under turbulent skies, and I made a point of trying to express sadness, extreme loneliness. You’ll see this soon, I hope – for I hope to bring them to you in Paris as soon as possible, since I’d almost believe that these canvases will tell you what I can’t say in words, what I consider healthy and fortifying about the countryside.’

No matter how ‘healthy and fortifying’ Vincent found the countryside, it was to no avail. His illness and his uncertainty about the future became too much.

On 27 July 1890, he walked into a wheatfield and shot himself in the chest with a pistol. The wounded artist staggered back to his room at the Auberge Ravoux.

Vincent was buried at Auvers on 30 July 1890. His legacy was a large body of art works: over 850 paintings and almost 1,300 works on paper.

Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum has the largest Van Gogh collection in the world It comprises 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by Vincent van Gogh.The Van Gogh Museum is a museum dedicated to the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, on the Paulus Potterstraat and the Museumplein in Amsterdam, in the Zuid district. The collection of the museum contains more than two hundred paintings, five hundred drawings and seven hundred letters from Vincent van Gogh, as well as his collection of Japanese prints, and the library comprises more than 23,000 works.

The museum is situated at the Museumplein in Amsterdam-Zuid, on the Paulus Potterstraat 7, between the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum The museum consists of two buildings, the Rietveld building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, and the Kurokawa wing, designed by Kisho Kurokawa The museum offices are housed on Stadhouderskade 55 in Amsterdam-Zuid.

The Rietveld building is the main structure of the museum and exhibits the permanent collection The building has a rectangular floor plan and is four stories high On the ground floor are a shop, a café, and the introductory part of the art exhibition The first floor shows the works of Van Gogh grouped chronologically The second floor gives information about the restoration of paintings and has a space for minor temporary exhibitions The third floor shows paintings of Van Gogh’s contemporaries in relationship to the work of Van Gogh himself.

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