Sometimes, you get to participate in an experience that is so evocative, you literally feel yourself transported in time. So it was on our Van Gogh immersion on Wednesday after leaving the quarry and the masterpiece exhibition, we went to the town where Vincent checked himself into a sanitarium for a little “rest”.
You see, Van Gogh had come to the south of France to paint. He was headed for Marseille, when the rarest of rare snow storms stranded his train, and that is why he settled in Arles. After a schoolyard fight with Paul Gaugin over who knows what, VVG checked in for a year and got his brother to pay his fees and expenses at the rest home.
There is still a working hospital on site today, although next to the VVG space. Throughout the site, copies of his masterpieces hang for the visitor to have the same view that VVG had when painting some of his more famous pieces. The tour also included the sight of these “baths”, used for treatment of mental conditions. Just like in “The Nun’s Story” with Audrey Hepburn.