Van Gogh in Auvers

Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch artist and probably the best known of the Impressionists today, came to Auvers-sur-Oise in the last year of his life, yet he painted seventy-seven paintings there before he died of a gunshot wound. Debate still continues as to whether his death was a suicide or murder. This post is continued from Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence and Paris as a base.

A well-defined walking tour tells Van Gogh’s story and marks with images where so many of his paintings were created. The route wanders through town and countryside, painting an enchanting landscape that he brought to life: the floral fields, the starry nights, the crooked buildings with a personality all their own, and the portraits of people you think you have met.

“Le Jardin de Daubigny”
“La Pluie” (The Rain)
The inn where Van Gogh stayed, photo taken the same year he arrived in Auvers
L’église d’Auvers-sur-Oise (painting now in Musée d’Orsay, Paris)
“L’Escalier d’Auvers (Avec Cinq Personnages) (The Stairs with five people)

In Auvers, he was a patient of Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, a doctor recommended by the artist Camille Pissaro, advised to do so by his brother Theo. Van Gogh and Gachet became friends. Gachet was also known to be friends with other Impressionist artists of the time, and a collector of their works before they were able to sell them, possibly in payment for his services. I visited Dr. Gachet’s house, now a museum with some more contemporary art exhibits, but lots of photos of the artists. His original Impressionist collection has toured major museums around the world.

Dr. Gachet’s house museum

Some other sights around Auvers:

To be continued… Rouen and Le Havre, Monet in Giverny

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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

32 thoughts on “Van Gogh in Auvers

  1. What a great idea to have copies of his paintings stationed around the town by the subject matter like this – it must really help bring them to life! And I love your photos of the old stone buildings 🙂

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    1. It was a lovely surprise to have the signs showing paintings at various sites. There was some information on each and a quote by Vincent. It make it so more personally about him in a way. Glad you enjoyed the photos!

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  2. My wife & I visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam two years ago. It is an impressive collection of Dutch and Impressionist art. The visit was part of a Viking cruise so our time was limited. I hope to go back because you could easily spend a whole day there. But now I could just as easily be tempted by Auvers-sur-Oise, and the walking tour of Van Gogh’s painting locales. Love the church in particular.

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    1. I considered going to Arles on this journey, but decided on Auvers instead. Maybe another time! That was where he had a difficult time while Gaugin lived with him, a stormy period in his short life. Thank you for sharing a comment!


  3. What a lovely town. It has that grounded feel of places that have hundreds of years of history. I realize I miss this so much in Canada as soon as I see photographs of European towns. I didn’t feel much of a connection with Van Gogh, perhaps because he only lived there for a short time, but still I think I’d enjoy Auvers very much.

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    1. There is a feeling of the history of these little towns, rooted in its buildings. It did seem like a pleasant place to spend some time. I miss that as well, in the states. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alison!

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  4. The gravestones made me feel sad. I often wonder if Vincent would have been able to paint his masterpieces if he were medicated by today’s standards. My medication sometimes takes some of my vibrancy away but I still prefer the lack of angst.

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    1. Kerry, I found visiting the graves so touching. They died just a year apart. I can’t imagine that Vincent would have survived long if his brother had gone first. That’s an interesting thought about the meds. It’s quite possible that they would have dulled his intense creativity. Are we surpressing budding artists by medicating them at an early age?

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      1. I think it is a fine balance, Ruth. Primary school was torture for me because I was depressed and anxious. A small amount of medication might have helped but who knows? It was first suggested when I was 7, that I might benefit from a psychiatrist, after I wrote a rather poignant tale of my Nana dying. My mum refused because of the stigma and she may have been right.

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  5. Thanks so much for bringing us along on the tour that you got to take in person! The buildings give such a sense of nostalgia and age and history. I imagine Van Gogh was quite at home here his last year.

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