Art is divine

From Genius to Melancholy

by Micha Christos



From October 3, 2023 to February 4, 2024




The last months

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Stormy wheat field - Auvers sur Oise - July 1890 - Oil on canvas - 50.4cm x 101.3 cm Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, (Vincent Van Gogh Foundation)

© Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, (Vincent Van Gogh Foundation) Press service/ Musée d’Orsay 

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Le Docteur Paul Gachet-  en 1890 -huile sur toile- h 68,2  L 57.0 cm -

Don de Paul et Marguerite , enfants du modèle, 1949.

 © Musée d’Orsay /Dist.RMN- Grand Palais /Patrice Schmidt -Service de presse/ Musée d’Orsay 

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Banks of the Oise, 1890 - Oil on canvas - 71.1 x 93.7 cm - Detroit Institute of Arts, Bequest of Robert H.Tannahill, 70.159

© Detroit Institute of Arts -Press Service/Musée d’Orsay


The Musée d'Orsay, in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, is organizing a magnificent exhibition devoted to the last days of life and activity of the Dutch painter in Auvers-sur-Oise, a village about thirty kilometers from Paris.

Unique in its genre, this exhibition focuses on a period less known than that of the sunny landscapes of Arles and Saint Rémy de Provence, café terraces and starry nights. As dense as it is prolific, it includes 74 paintings and more than 50 drawings, including some of his main masterpieces, which he produced at a frantic pace with at least one canvas per day over two months.

The 50 paintings and 30 works on paper exhibited in Paris, from October 3, come mainly from the Musée d'Orsay and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, but also from museums and private collections around the world.

For the first time, the last months of Vincent Van Gogh's life in the village on the banks of the Oise are thus traced from his arrival on May 20, 1890, following his one-year stay in a nursing home in the south of France, until his death on July 29, 1890.

The artist had tried to kill himself by shooting himself in the region of the heart and succeeded two days later.

Thanks to his rich correspondence, in particular with his brother Theo, his last days can be traced from his initial enthusiasm for this new setting which gave him hope and plunged him into passionate artistic impulses, until his last moments all marked by loneliness, inner struggle and depression.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

Portrait of the Artist (detail) in 1889 Oil on canvas - h 65.0 L 54.2 cm

Orsay Museum - Gift of Paul and Marguerite Gachet -

© Musée d’Orsay /Dist.RMN-

Grand Palais /Patrice Schmidt -Press service/ Musée d’Orsay

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

The Church of Auvers sur Oise, bedside view - in 1890 - oil on canvas - H 93.0 L 74.5 cm - Acquired with the help of Paul Gachet and an anonymous Canadian donation - 1951-

© Musée d’Orsay /Dist.RMN-

Grand Palais /Patrice Schmidt -Press service/ Musée d’Orsay

The choice of Auvers-sur-Oise had been dictated on the advice of his brother by the presence of Doctor Paul Gachet, a doctor specializing in the treatment of melancholy. The painter went to his house every week to try to find a cure for his stress and illness. Van Gogh finds in his doctor a precious and sincere help. The practitioner helps him in his relationship with nature to discern therein motives of hope and serenity in order to distance him from his auditory hallucinations, his anxiety and his grief.

Paul Gachet's property became his starting point for the exploration and representation of the village, its magnificent garden, its flowering plants and its still lifes full of freshness. His daughter Marguerite and her governess became the subjects of his first paintings in the village. Gradually he widened his points of vision and exploration of the Auberge Ravoux where he lives, from the Town Hall to the Château de Léry and the Church. Unlike other artists, the banks of the Oise do not interest him with the exception of a superb painting in which he depicts leisure on the river.

Vincent Van Gogh is best supplied by farms, cultivated fields, cottages, bourgeois villas, women and children busy with market gardening.

In this brief period, he experimented with new directions in terms of colors, formats and themes. Despite his inner turmoil, he works with ardor, he paints small format paintings and seems to find a form of tranquility in the branches of acacias, the fields of poppies and the large flowering chestnut trees.

Summer nature is resplendent and Van Gogh likes to represent fields of wheat with their ears, vines, bouquets and vases of flowers. At the beginning, the colors are dazzling from red to intense blue, then come the stormy skies and the rainy landscapes which correspond to the moods of the end of the painter's life.




His latest painting "Tree Roots", made the day of his suicide, just like his "Wheat Fields with Crows" highlighted his inner anxieties and his existential pain. His portraits of the time were able to immortalize the last figures of his life from Doctor Gachet to his daughter at the piano or Adeline Ravoux.


During his lifetime, Van Gogh did not want to sell his paintings and only one “La Vigne Rouge” was bought by Anna Boch, impressionist painter and Belgian patron.

Recognition of the artist was delayed due to his tormented life and violent death at only 37 years old.

His brother Theo, confidante and unconditional support, died a few days after him and it was his widow Johanna Van Gogh who spent her life organizing, cataloguing and exhibiting more than 800 paintings by the artist.



This Parisian exhibition pays a very fine tribute to the last days of this man, as tortured as he was brilliant, who despite himself became a legend of modern art.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Epis de blé - Auvers sur Oise - Juin 1890 - oil on canvas- 64 cm x 48 cm - Van Gogh Museum - Amsterdam ( Vincent Van Gogh Foundation) 

© Van Gogh Museum - Amsterdam ( Vincent Van Gogh Foundation) -Service de presse/ Musée d’Orsay 

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Maisons à Auvers su Oise - 1890 - Huile sur toile- 60 x 73 cm - Toledo Museum d’Art - 

© Toledo Museum of Art -Service de presse/ Musée d’Orsay