Friday, July 26, 2013

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Vincent Van Gogh

On May 8, 1889, accompanied by, the Reverend Salles, Van Gogh committed himself to the hospital at Saint Paul-de-Mausole. The hospital was a former monastery in Saint-Rémy less than 20 miles (32 km) from Arles.The monastery is located in an area of cornfields, vineyards and olive trees at the time run by a former naval doctor, Dr. Théophile Peyron. Vincent's brother, Theo, arranged for two small rooms—adjoining cells with barred windows. The second was to be used as a studio.

Artist Painting, Spring 2001
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France 
Migration, wars and population expansion brought people with their cultures and values and each affected the ecosystem in this Mediterranean climate. Romans built roads and irrigation networks. Greeks brought the cultivation of vines and olives for sustenance and commerce. In this very sunny, 300 days out of 365 days, and limestone environment a unique nature flourishes. 
We approached the painter in this photograph and asked in French, "Pouvons nous prendre votre photo (May we take your picture)?" "Yes!" She was from Kansas.

Minature roses planted along walkway


Poppies in meadow

The Fine Senses
The essential oils of the lavender, roses, angelica, and verbena of Provence are synonymous with essence and perfume. Herbes de Provence, the mixture of savory, fennel, thyme and lavender flowers is used in haute cuisine and the flavoring or soups and sauces. There is a peaceful bucolic quality that many would find beautiful and inspiring. But while the shepherd would tend sheep in this pastoral setting van Gogh missed the commradery of his peers in Paris.

There is a general store with handmade lavender soap. Your car will smell great if you buy a few "gifts."