Arles, September 1888 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
72 cm x 91.5 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
In May 1888, Van Gogh rented four rooms in a house on Place Lamartine in Arles (southern France). The green shutters in this painting of the square show where he lived. Shortly after moving into the ‘Yellow House’, he sent Theo a description and sketch of his painting of it: ‘it’s tremendous, these yellow houses in the sunlight and then the incomparable freshness of the blue.’
The work, which Van Gogh himself called ‘The Street’, records the artist’s immediate surroundings: he often ate at the restaurant on the left, and the home of his friend, the postman Joseph Roulin, lay just beyond the second railway bridge.
Vincent had finally found a place at the Yellow House where he could not only paint but also have his friends come to stay. His plan was to turn the yellow corner-building into an artists’ house, where like-minded painters could live and work together.