GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)

Spectators in the Arena at Arles

December 1888, Arles
Oil on canvas, 75 x 94 cm cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Catalogue numbers: F 548, JH 1653.

In his letters written from Arles, van Gogh often shared his impression of attending the bullfights performed in the Roman arena of the city. He was especially fascinated with the motley crowd of spectators, a subject that takes over this work. Abrupt flashes of colour create a sense of alarm that seems to have affected the woman in the bottom left-hand corner who turns away from the view.