Van Gogh in the Monastery St Paul de Mausole
Van Gogh spent the last year of his life in St. Remy-de-Provence.
Being a fan of his paintings, I took the opportunity to visit this place, where some of his most important paintings were done.
The monastery is really quite pretty.
Part of it still functions as a treatment facility for mentally ill patients.
There are several reproductions of his paintings throughout the grounds indicating where he painted each scene.
Climbing a long flight of stone steps, you reach Van Gogh’s room.
It is very simply furnished with a bed, a small writing desk, a trunk and a straight-backed chair.
He painted several scenes from the window of his room.
If you click on the link, you’ll see one of those famous paintings, “The Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital“.
Van Gogh viewed the beautiful fields and gardens of the facility through a barred window.
This, after all, was a locked facility for the insane.
It’s easy indeed to forget the reality of his mental illness, while enjoying his stunning paintings.
Even the peaceful cloister courtyard was locked and barred to Vincent and other patients.
Two months after leaving St-Rémy-de-Provence, Van Gogh, then in Auvers-sur-Oise, shot himself in the chest under suspicious circumstances.
The gun was indeed never found.
It isn’t known for certain, either, where the shooting took place.
Fortunately, the bullet was partially deflected by a rib and therefore didn’t do any mortal damage to internal organs.
He was thus able to walk in order to obtain medical care.
His beloved brother, Theo, rushed to his bedside.
Van Gogh died on July 27, 1890 from an infection incurred by the gunshot wound.
Coordinates and map for St Paul de Mausole: Lat 43.777923 – Long 4.834017