An Afternoon With Vincent Van Gogh

Here is an account of a lovely sunny afternoon in the country, at Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent Van Gogh lived and eventually, took his own life.

An Afternoon With Vincent Van Gogh Van Gogh Vincent
Vincent Van Gogh must have climbed those steps as well Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh
The town hall of Auvers once painted by Vincent Van Gogh has not changed that much.

Yes! This is the right town hall. That of Auvers, painted by Vincent. Luckily, the local officials had planted a few sunflowers opposite the building as I shot that picture and it was still Summer… nice touch for visitors isn’t it? And God knows there are visitors from all over the World in Auvers.

Or at least there were. The Inn at which Van Gogh was staying, Auberge Ravoux, used to serve delicious lamb stews before Covid 19. Now it’s only sandwiches and wine.

The photo above shows the field in which Vincent shot himself and the famous Wheatfield with crows. There are still debates amongst historians as to whether that was Van Gogh’s last painting.

It wasn’t raining so we couldn’t quite compare the landscape of “the rain” with reality, but it did look conspicuously similar to the painting even though the trees had been replaced a few times since then of course.

The famous church in Auvers. It seems that the lady in the forefront of that painting looks like the Dutch peasants Van Gogh was painting in hi youth. Talk about distorted reality…

His tombstone was cleaned and painted not so long ago and is much better kept than most of the other tombs around the municipal churchyard.

All these pictures were taken in 2014. Yet, not much has changed since the 1890s. If it weren’t for the cars whizzing past us on the main road, you could almost think that Auvers is still the way it was when Vincent knew it and painted it.

Yann Gourvennec
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