GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)
Vincent's House In Arles (The Yellow House)September 1888, Arles
Oil on canvas, 72 x 92 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Catalogue numbers: F 464, JH 1589.
In late February 1888 van Gogh left Paris. He moved to the Provençal town of Arles, where he remained for two years; it was a move from the city to a more rural environment, though Arles was a substantial, industrial town. But here, from his house on the place Lamartine, van Gogh could easily walk out into wheat fields nearby. The Yellow House on the square near the railway station on the outskirts of Arles was van Gogh's home and studio and he proudly painted this portrait of it in September 1888. More than one art historian has drawn attention to the relation between van Gogh's 'townscape' and the tradition of seventeenth-century Dutch townscape painting. Forms are solidly painted and the figures are fixed. The effect created is one of a comfortable and friendly locale.
In 1888 Gauguin, van Gogh and Bernard painted portraits of each other, and self-portraits, to seal their artistic brotherhood. It was for this group that van Gogh hoped the yellow house in Arles - which he had used a modest legacy to fit out and paint - would serve as home and studio.