There were many peoples before in the South of France. In the 6th century B.C. the people who built Marseille established a new commercial extension in Arles, and it’s the beginning of Arles. Arles is located between Spain and Italy and has many rivers and ports. So it prospered in the Roman times. You can find old traditional buildings in the city such as the Colosseum, an old theater and a forum.
In 1853, Gogh, who was born in the Netherlands, came to this city to seek more chances for his talent. Thanks to the Provençal nature he developed his talent to the fullest and left us a lot of paintings, like “Sunflowers.” He stayed in the city for two years and kept painting. In the forum in this village there is a small café, Café Forum, which gave Gogh a hint of painting “starry night” (Orsay Museum), and there is a hospital where he had treatment after he cut his ear off. There he painted “the garden of Arles hospital” later. And he liked to paint the bridges in Arles.
Auvers-sur-Oise is a very small village about one and a half hour away from Paris by train. This is the place where Gogh spent his latter life. It’s a very quiet and peaceful place. And somehow you may feel very nostalgic here.
First, when you arrive here, you should visit Ravoux Inn. Gogh was renting one of the rooms. This is not a museum but you can find how his life was. They allow you to enter the room he was using, and some of his paintings were found under the bed in the room. One of them is “the church in Auvers” (below/Orsay Museum). You can also find some nail holes on the wall which were made when he hung up the paintings to dry. And one century later, a small exhibition was held in this small room to make his wish come true. In his letter to his brother, Gogh said he believed that the day would come when he could have an exhibition of his own.
You should take a walk in the village, too. There are many sites where you can recognize. And when you come to the end of the street, you’ll find a grave yard where Gogh is sleeping. And behind his grave there is a big wheat field that you can see in one of his paintings, too.
I was very happy that I could see Gogh’s traces. Now his popular paintings look different.