From Auvers to Paris with Van Gogh
“Auvers is seriously beautiful,” Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. He spent the last 70 days of his life there, an extraordinarily prolific period during which he produced more than 80 paintings.
Auvers-sur-Oise, last residence of Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh moved to Auvers-sur-Oise in the spring of 1890 on his return from the south of France, where he had been committed to a psychiatric institution. “Auvers is seriously beautiful,” he wrote to his brother Theo.
He spent the last 70 days of his life there, an extraordinarily prolific period during which he produced more than 80 paintings, before dying in tragic circumstances shrouded in mystery. Today, Auvers-sur-Oise is like an open-air museum. It has lost none of its bucolic, picturesque charm. Visiting Van Gogh’s final resting place is like a pilgrimage.
Of course, no tour would be complete without a trip to the Auberge Ravoux (closed in 2020), known as the “House of Van Gogh”, where his room remains exactly as it was, and the House of Doctor Gachet, who took care of the artist during his stay.
And then there are the landscapes immortalised by Van Gogh, which we can admire during a stroll through the village, ending at the cemetery where the painter is buried next to his brother Théo, surrounded by the wheatfields that inspired the artist’s last painting, Wheatfield with Crows.
After Auvers, it is time to head to Paris. Did you know that Van Gogh also lived in Montmartre? Five information panels located on rue des Saules explain his journey.
The perfect opportunity for a gourmet break at La Bonne Franquette. This historic restaurant attracted many painters, including Monet, Renoir, Sisley and, of course, Van Gogh, who produced his Terrace of a Café on Montmartre there.
Now, let us turn our attention to the paintings themselves, with a trip to the Musée d’Orsay, home to the world’s second largest collection of Van Gogh’s work, with 24 paintings, the vast majority of them dating from the period the artist spent living in France.
At the core of the Musée d’Orsay’s Van Gogh collection are nine paintings produced during the years he spent in the south of France, including Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles, Starry Night and Self-Portrait, 1889. From the final stage of Van Gogh’s life, in Auvers-sur-Oise, the museum has seven paintings, including Dr Paul Gachet and, of course, The Church at Auvers.
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- Copyright image: CRT IDF/Yasuhiro Ogawa