View of Saintes-Maries

View of Saintes-Maries

"I don’t believe there are 100 houses in this village or town. The main building after the old church, an ancient fortress, is the barracks. And what houses at that — like those on our Drenthe heaths and peat bogs, you’ll see some specimens in the drawings. I have to leave my three painted studies here, because of course they aren’t dry enough to subject them to 5 hours’ jolting in a carriage with impunity. But I expect to come back here." To Theo. Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, on or about Sunday, 3 or Monday, 4 June 1888
Currently Located:
Details:
Painting Date
2nd of June 1888
Detailed Image Links
Description:
“My dear Theo,
I’m writing to you from Saintes-Maries on the Mediterranean at last — the Mediterranean — has a colour like mackerel, in other words, changing — you don’t always know if it’s green or purple — you don’t always know if it’s blue — because a second later, its changing reflection has taken on a pink or grey hue.  It’s a funny thing, the family — quite unintentionally, and despite myself, I’ve often thought here from time to time of our uncle the seaman, who has certainly seen the shores of this sea many times.  I’ve brought three canvases and I’ve covered them — two seascapes — a view of the village — and some drawings which I’ll send you by post when I get back to Arles tomorrow.  I board and eat for 4 francs a day — they started by asking. As soon as I can I’ll probably come back to do some more studies here.  The beach here is sandy, no cliffs or rocks — like Holland — without the dunes and with more blue.
You eat better fried fish here than beside the Seine — only there isn’t fish to eat every day, as the fishermen go off to sell in Marseille. But when there is some it’s darned good. If there isn’t any — the butcher’s is no more appetizing than Monsieur Gérôme’s fellah butcher’s — if there’s no fish it’s rather hard to find something to eat here, it seems to me.  I don’t believe there are 100 houses in this village or town.  The main building after the old church, an ancient fortress, is the barracks. And what houses at that — like those on our Drenthe heaths and peat bogs, you’ll see some specimens in the drawings.  I have to leave my three painted studies here, because of course they aren’t dry enough to subject them to 5 hours’ jolting in a carriage with impunity.  But I expect to come back here.”

To Theo. Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, on or about Sunday, 3 or Monday, 4 June 1888

In the painting View of Saintes-Maries, Vincent lays rows of lavender at the feet of the viewer and beckons the eye toward the old town barrier wall and the large church being protected by it over the ages. Vincent is excited about his first visit to the Mediterranean Sea and with the village and the pilgrims it has attracted for the religious ceremonies of the three Marys.  He will paint the cottages

Painting, Oil on Canvas
Arles: June 2, 1888
Kröller-Müller Museum
Otterlo, The Netherlands, Europe
F: 416, JH: 1447

Where Vincent Was:
Saintes-Maries

Start Discussion

Leave your email address and Vincent will write you with a painting and his thoughts...

(Don’t worry, Vincent is busy painting and doesn’t send more than one a week!)

You have Successfully Subscribed!