Monday, July 26, 2010

Two Arenas and a Tormented Painter

I can't help wondering what it's like to live in a place where there's an ancient Roman arena right smack in the middle of the main thoroughfare.  Do you just get used to it like the corner newspaper box?

I'd think it would be pretty hard to ignore...

Les Arènes, Nîmes

Torero (bullfights are held in the Arènes also)
There's an amphitheater at Arles too. In the Middle Ages it became a fortress with a little town nestled instide, and a few towers were added...

 Here's the view from atop one of the towers.  That's the Rhone River in the distance.

 Longing for a place where he could work in serenity and also invite other artists to come join him, Vincent Van Gogh rented a house in Arles.  His most cherished dream was eventually to found a cultural center that would be a place of support and fellowship for artists. As you probably know, he was only able to stay in his beloved little house for about 18 months, during which time he created about 300 drawings and paintings before being forced to seek treatment at a mental hospital for his bouts of severe depression.

I visited the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, which houses many touching works of all sorts --paintings, drawings, dioramas, photos-- created by other artists in homage to the painter who started out as a minister to the poor.

The sculpture at the entrance is entitled "Vincent Crucifié" by Louis Cane.

This lovely garden is part of the Espace Van Gogh.

Tomorrow, on to Bassy (near Mâcon) to meet my longtime cyberpal Daniel...


  1. Oh, i would love to go to the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh. I am very very envious.
    He's one of my favourite painters. I'm hopeful i might be able to study his work in the next module of my MA in Art History...
    Your travels have been interesting to read about - thank you!

  2. Hi Sue,

    Actually, the foundation has very little exhibition space -- just a few rooms on two floors. So they select and rotate the works to be displayed.

    So many artists identify with the suffering Vincent!



Comments are moderated. The decision of the blog author is final.