The Hospital in Arles

The Hospital in Arles

"I’m much calmer since then, and physically I’m perfectly well. And I still feel incapable of taking a studio again. I’m working though, and have just done two paintings of the hospital. One is a ward, a very long ward with the rows of beds with white curtains where a few figures of patients are moving. 1v:3 The walls, the ceiling with the large beams, everything is white in a lilac white or green white. Here and there a window with a pink or bright green curtain. The floor tiled with red bricks. At the far end a door surmounted by a crucifix" To Willemien van Gogh. Arles, between about Sunday, 28 April and Thursday, 2 May 1889
Details:
Painting Date
1st of May 1889
Painting Type
Oil on Canvas Paintings
Detailed Image Links
Description:
After the petition signed by the citizens of Arles demanding Van Gogh be locked up as he is a danger to others, Vincent is ordered to live at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Arles by the Mayor.  This painting and its pendant, the courtyard in the hospital were completed in his first week of his forced stay.
“As for me, I’m going for at least 3 months into an asylum at St-Rémy, not far from here.
In all I’ve had 4 big crises in which I hadn’t the slightest idea of what I said, wanted, did.
Not counting that I fainted 3 times previously without plausible reason, and not retaining the least memory of what I felt then.
Ah well, that’s quite serious, although I’m much calmer since then, and physically I’m perfectly well. And I still feel incapable of taking a studio again. I’m working though, and have just done two paintings of the hospital. One is a ward, a very long ward with the rows of beds with white curtains where a few figures of patients are moving.  1v:3
The walls, the ceiling with the large beams, everything is white in a lilac white or green white. Here and there a window with a pink or bright green curtain.
The floor tiled with red bricks. At the far end a door surmounted by a crucifix.
It’s very, very simple. And then, as a pendant, the inner courtyard. It’s an arcaded gallery like in Arab buildings, whitewashed. In front of these galleries an ancient garden with a pond in the middle and 8 beds of flowers, forget-me-nots, Christmas roses, anemones, buttercups, wallflowers, daisies &c. And beneath the gallery, orange trees and oleanders. So it’s a painting chock-full of flowers and springtime greenery. However, three black, sad tree-trunks cross it like snakes, and in the foreground four large sad, dark box bushes.”

To Willemien van Gogh. Arles, between about Sunday, 28 April and Thursday, 2 May 1889

Painting, Oil on Canvas
Arles: May 1, 1889
Oskar Reinhart Collection ‘Am Römerholz’
Winterthur, Switzerland, Europe
F: 646, JH: 1686

Where Vincent Was:
Arles

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