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Avenue des Alyscamps

he Alyscamps still exists and can be visited.

Van Gogh in


  1. 20 Feb. 1888 1888
     - 8 May 1889

Vincent made four paintings of the Alyscamps, a Roman necropolis a few hundred metres from the centre of Arles. He painted the works in late October 1888, during the time Paul Gauguin was staying with him in the Yellow House. One pair, Les Alyscamps (‘Leaf Fall’), hung in Gauguin’s room. Vincent described one of the paintings in a letter to his brother Theo:

“I think that you’d like the leaf-fall that I’ve done. It’s lilac poplar trunks cut by the frame where the leaves begin. These tree-trunks, like pillars, line an avenue where old Roman tombs coloured lilac-blue are lined up to right and left. Now the ground is covered as if by a carpet with a thick layer of orange and yellow leaves — fallen. Some are still falling, like snowflakes. And in the avenue dark figurines of lovers. The top of the painting is a very green meadow and no sky, or almost none.” Read the complete letter

Gauguin also made two paintings of the Alyscamps.

Relevant letters from Vincent

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  1. Marije Vellekoop, Roelie Zwikker

    Vincent van Gogh, tekeningen, deel 4: Arles, Saint-Rémy, Auvers-sur-Oise
    Amsterdam, 2007