GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)
The Langlois Bridge at ArlesMarch 1888, Arles
Oil on canvas, 54 x 65 cm
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo
Catalogue numbers: F 397, JH 1368.
Van Gogh made many drawings and paintings of this bridge, the Pont Langlois outside Arles. Here laundresses are washing in the river beneath it. In other treatments lovers stroll along the bank towards it. This drawbridge gives further evidence of the ways in which van Gogh recomposed Arles and its environs in the image of another time and place - in Holland. The drawbridge is closely associated with Dutch landscape; it signifies 'Dutchness'. Moreover it was a common motif in the work of van Gogh's Dutch contemporaries of the Hague School. But the Pont Langlois was Dutch in another, more literal way: it was in fact built by Dutch engineers.