Cloister of Saint Paul of Mausole, Van Gogh Cultural and Tourist Centre
- Historic site and monument
Vincent van Gogh arrived in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence on 8 May 1889 after suffering a major mental crisis in which he cut off his earlobe. Arriving from Arles, he voluntarily committed himself to Saint-Paul de Mausole psychiatric hospital. Vincent van Gogh stayed there for a whole year, until May 1890.
It was in his small hospital room that he experienced his most productive period; a major period in his life as an artist, during which he produced almost 150 paintings and numerous drawings, including ‘The Starry Night’, ‘The Almond Tree Branch in Bloom’ and ‘The Iris’.
They will certainly recognize my work later on and they will talk about me when I am dead and gone. I will see to that if I manage to live a while longer.
« The cypresses are always on my mind, I would like to do something with them like the sunflower paintings, because I am surprised that they have not yet been done as I see them. They are beautiful, in lines and proportions, like Egyptian obelisks. And the green is of such a distinguished quality. »
« It's a spot of black in a sunny landscape, but it is one of the most interesting black notes, and the most difficult to hit off exactly, that I can imagine. Yet you should see them here against the blue, in the blue to put it better. »
Letter to Theo - 25 June 1889
The landscapes of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and the foothills of the Alpilles, where he used to stay, are still today as the painter discovered them over a century ago.
After him, many other artists settled in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence or in surrounding villages. Some of them became famous, such as Yves Brayer, Auguste Chabaud, Mario Prassinos and Albert Gleizes, the precursor of Cubism.
A free, one-hour walking tour through the landscapes that inspired Vincent van Gogh takes you into the world of the artist. A signpost will guide your steps from the historic centre, starting from the Estrine Museum, to the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole, marked out by 19 reproductions of his most emblematic paintings.
If you are a fan of the artist, you can hire an audio guide, available in French or English, at the reception of the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Intercommunal Tourist Office, retracing stories and anecdotes about Vincent van Gogh in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
To enhance your discovery, you can download the free Van Gogh Natures application (available on Play Store and App Store). This application is a multimedia guide with geolocalisation that allows you to discover the work of Vincent van Gogh through the landscapes that inspired him. Van Gogh Natures is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Japanese.
The extracts from the letters in the application and on the route are faithful reproductions of Vincent van Gogh’s original writings, respecting the syntax and spelling of the artist.
The monastery is foremost known for having welcomed Vincent van Gogh from May 1889 to May 1890.
A masterpiece of Provençal Romanesque art, the 11th and 12th century cloister backs onto the Romanesque chapel, the façade of which was modified during the 18th century.
It is topped by a square Lombard bell tower. A wing of the delightful Romanesque cloister is occupied by a museum recalling the period when Vincent van Gogh was interned at Saint-Paul.
You can visit the emotionally charged reconstruction of the painter's room. In the "Champ van Gogh" (Van Gogh Field), you can admire more than 20 large-scale reproductions of van Gogh’s most famous paintings in the very place where they were created. This place, which strikes the visitor by its great serenity, remains today a psychiatric hospital.
To pay tribute to Vincent van Gogh, (the) Estrine Museum has created a multimedia educational space devoted to the life and works of the painter.
The Vincent van Gogh interpretation centre allows visitors to (re)discover the human and artistic journey of this outstanding personality, as well as his influence on 20th and 21st century artistic creations.
The Estrine Museum collection is dedicated to the painting and graphic arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. Hôtel Estrine was built in 1748 in the tradition of the true treasures of 18th century Provençal architecture.
The Estrine Museum is a museum of contemporary art where two or three temporary exhibitions are organised each year with artists such as Vincent Bioulès, Bernard Buffet, Albert Gleizes, Eugène Leroy or Paul Rebeyrolle.
For more information on the life of Vincent van Gogh in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Van Gogh Europe allows you to follow and understand the artistic and human journey of Vincent van Gogh from Northern to Southern Europe. It aims to create a sustainable, high-quality tourist offer involving the various partner locations of Van Gogh Europe.
A leaflet offers you the opportunity to travel in the footsteps of the artist