Van Gogh’s “space poem” returns to its birthplace

In February 1888, the famous Dutch Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh left the debauchery of Paris behind and traveled to Arles in southern France, where he hoped to find solace away from his mental and physical demons.

The artist’s 12 months in Provence had limited health benefits – his stay in a mental asylum ended a few months after he mutilated his own ear with a razor. However, artistically, his stay in Arles proved fruitful. There he created about 200 paintings, many of which are considered masterpieces.

Among them is “Starry night over the Rhona”. Often described as a “secular poem”, the work now returns to Provence for the first time since its creation for the needs of the exhibition “Van Gogh and the Stars”.

«It is a remarkable painting in the history of art, and we see it only a few meters away from where it was painted» He tells the Times of London Bice Couriguet, co-curator of the exhibition to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation in Arles. The painting has been reproduced thousands of times, but “you are amazed when you see the real one in front of you» explains Kurige.

The work usually hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The exhibit’s curator told The Times that he had been trying to persuade museum officials to lend it to him for eight years, but met with resistance. He was given various excuses, such as arranging the transfer is a difficult process that takes at least three years.

The 150th anniversary of the 1874 exhibition that laid the foundations of Impressionism in Paris presented an ideal opportunity for the curator. With the Musée d’Orsay marking 178 works on loan to provincial museums, Arles has finally secured the return of Van Gogh’s masterpiece – at least for the duration of the exhibition.

Couriguet and his colleague Jean de Loisy placed the painting in the context of the 19th-century fascination with astronomy in art, literature, and science. Van Gogh may have made history with his sunflower paintings – he created a series in Arles – but he also spent much of his time looking at the stars.

Curators tell The Times they want to show the influence on Van Gogh of the astronomical dreams of artists such as French writer Victor Hugo and fellow French landscape painter Camille Corot. The exhibition also shows how Van Gogh’s night scenes influenced artists who followed him – all with the same passion for the stars.

It includes paintings such as Starry Night by Swiss master Augusto Giacometti, painted in 1917, and The Wind of Travel by Yves Klein, a pioneer of 20th-century French performance art.He continued the work of Van Gogh“, according to what De Loisin told the Times. The co-curator of the exhibition called him “a journey to infinity“.

For the Dutch master, it was an 1889 visit to the mental hospital of nearby St. Remy in Provence. A few months ago, Van Gogh, who had long suffered from psychotic problems and delusions, had an argument with his French colleague. Impressionist, Paul Gauguin. That night, he cut off his ear and gave it to the 17-year-old cleaner of the brothel he frequented.

A year after his imprisonment in a mental clinic, in 1890, the artist moved to Auvers-Chir-Oise, north of Paris, where he was found dead from a bullet in the chest. Specialist scholars on his life and career believe that he shot himself and ended his life.

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