I have always been fascinated by Vincent Van Gogh. A few years ago I braved wind, rain and long lines to view the Vincent Van Gogh collection on loan to a museum in Washington DC. While visiting sunny Provence last week, I did not have to suffer bad weather and long lines to spend time in a place where Van Gogh spent a year of his life.
After a tumultuous time in Arles, which included the ear cutting incident, Van Gogh committed himself to the Monastere St. Paul-de Mausole in St. Remy to convalesce. He was allowed studio space and painted some of his best work there.
The grounds of the asylum were, and are today, lovely. Van Gogh found inspiration everywhere. He painted Irises that were growing in a nearby field.
He wrote to his brother Theo, “This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big.” Thus, he painted from that memory the swirls of Starry Night.
This is the view from Van Gogh’s window. The window is barred, as would be expected in a hospital. But what is so fascinating to me, is that visitors today are allowed into this very room.
David suggested that if I was tired I could actually lie down on Van Gogh’s bed.
The grounds of Monastere St. Paul-de Mausole are beautiful. The lavender was just beginning to flower and the aroma was heady.
I could picture Van Gogh strolling the pathways.
While in St. Remy we had lunch at the Bistrot Decouverte.
We went there because Sam, of My Carolina Kitchen, spent time in St. Remy a few years ago. Bistrot Decouverte was one of her favorite restaurants. You can read about her experience here.
Our lunch of braised chicken with a salad verte was so good that you will just have to take my word for it because we only got pictures of the bones on the plate.
After lunch we strolled around the lovely village of St. Remy. It is very picturesque and I can see why Sam and Meakin made this town their home-base while in Provence.
David even made friends with a local dog. So cute!
We ended the day back in L’isle Sur la Sorgue at our favorite wine and cheese shop with a toast to another beautiful day in Provence.