After 90 turbulent days in Arles, Van Gogh went north and settled in Auvers in a tiny room above an inn. There in a field he either took his life or, according to contemporary theory, was shot. The main arguments for the latter theory are that the gun was never found and the method of killing by firing into the chest is unusual and one Van Gogh survived for 24 hours. That he was such an incompetent and bi-polar supports the theory that suicide seems the likeliest explanation.
At Auvers he still produced a body of some of his best work. You can walk the steps of Van Gogh and see the scenes and a representation of it by Van Gogh. We did this as well as visiting his minuscule room at Auberge Ravoux.
A key figure in Auvers was Doctor Gachet who treated Van Gogh and is the subject of one of his portraits . He was at the bedside as Van Gogh passed away on July 30 1890. Van Gogh and his brother Theo who died of syphilis were buried together in the cemetery.
Inevitably but sadly the pretty rustic French town is more tourist site than shrine to the painter. Nonetheless it was a fitting end to our trip that we finished at the cemetery to view the graves. Somehow by seeing the cornfields that Van Gogh immortalised in paint you appreciated more than wandering around with the large groups in museums. In the these pictures particularly of the church there is a turbulent almost volcanic movement about the terrain and broodiness in the skies and in these pictures there is little serenity. This rather reinforces that the lights were going out for poor Vincent. For us and him it had been quite a journey.
This is an interesting link to Van Gogh’s time in Auvers – AUVERS