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Boulevard Mirabeau

Rue Menders

Boulevard Mirabeau still exists.

Van Gogh in

Boulevard Mirabeau

  1. 8 May 1889
     - 16 May 1890

Vincent painted Saint-Rémy’s main street twice. The Cours Est was renamed Boulevard Mirabeau in 1891. His compositions were a departure from the others he made in Saint-Rémy; he generally preferred to stay within the asylum’s walls or escape into the stillness of the breath-taking countryside. On his first trip to the village, in early June 1889, Vincent suddenly became unwell. He wrote to his brother Theo:

“I once went into the village — accompanied, at that. The mere sight of the people and things had an effect on me as if I was going to faint, and I felt very ill.” Read the complete letter

Months later, in early December, he felt well enough to go back to the village and paint Rue Menders. He wrote:

“The last study I did is a view of the village – where people were at work – under enormous plane trees – repairing the pavements. So there are piles of sand, stones and the gigantic tree-trunks – the yellowing foliage, and here and there glimpses of a house-front and little figures.” Read the complete letter

After the first study, The Road Menders, he painted the subject again; the second work is more subdued but with more detail and bears the same title as the first.

Made here

Vincent van Gogh, The road menders, 1889

Vincent van Gogh, The road menders, 1889

Oil on canvas, 73,5 x 92,5 cm

The Philips Collection, Washington D.C.

Vincent van Gogh, The road menders, 1889

Vincent van Gogh, The road menders, 1889

Oil on canvas, 73,4 x 81 cm

The Cleveland Museum of Art

    Relevant letters from Vincent

    Continue reading

    1. Ronald Pickvance

      Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy and Auvers
      New York, 1986
    2. Marije Vellekoop, Roelie Zwikker

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