Monastère Saint-Paul-de-Mausole and The Dutchman



I had been most anxious to visit this museum/hospital, for some time. When Rita said she wanted to visit the cave projection show, previous post, the plan for her most recent visit took shape. A quiet intuitive individual, I had a feeling that the walls may talk. They do whisper if one is silent and willing to hear.


Was it wishful thinking or simply artistic license that Van Gogh applied his brushes to create a much more sumptious version of his true quarters? Patients rooms were not decorated with art work and this special guest had access to another room within the hospital for a studio and much of his work was completed on the hospital grounds. Alas, there is no access to his atelier which leads this visitor to believe there is really no trace of it or that it is in the part of the hospital that is still active as a Psychiatric Hospital. 



Haunted with thoughts of suicide, Van Gogh chose a voluntary admission to the hospital at Saint Remy on 8 May 1889. He would stay there for a year and during this time would restle with bouts of deep depression. During his stay from May 1889-May 1890, he was most prolific in his work and produced a total of 142 pieces including Starry Night, Sunflowers, Irises, and a self-portrait that says so much about the man. If you have a favorite (that is a tough one) you can check to see if it was painted during his time at the hospital at the following site:



The view from his window of some of the terraced gardens.



Our visit took place in late October so instead of the stunning flowers that would appear in Spring, we had the lovely colors of autumn. Van Gogh took his inspiration from nature so saw the beauty in all that it offered. 





Up the steps and just past the chapel, you will find the entrance to where Van Gogh’s room is. While there are other rooms here that once housed patients, those were not open. However, the salle de bains and the kitchen were housed there and I hope you find those photos as interesting as I do.



The salle de bains (bathroom) is situated directly across the hallway from the entry door to the chambre de Van Gogh. 



The kitchen, no longer in use, is maintained as it was during the time of Van Gogh.



An inner courtyard that still had some blooms.

If you enjoyed this at all, I do hope you will check out the book LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT A MAN I KNEW by Susan Fletcher. She weaves a beautiful story about Van Gogh and some of the people who actually resided at the hospital at that time. 

On one side of the property we discovered an ancient site for both Greek and Roman villages. There was so much to see there, I fear that it may take more than one post to share some of its secrets. Like here, my camera just gets carried away…





42 thoughts on “Monastère Saint-Paul-de-Mausole and The Dutchman

    1. Thank you for joining me there. I hope you take a look at Susan Fletcher’s book about the hospital during the time of Van Gogh. She wove a believable tale around the real characters.

    1. Thank you. It is kind of you to let me know you enjoyed it. If so, you might enjoy reading Susan Fletcher’s book about that time in Saint Remy.

      1. Lea, thank you and I will certainly put Susan Fletcher’s book on my reading list! the photo were amazing and I felt I learned just by looking at them another clue about his everyday life.

      2. If you enjoyed that, I’ve no doubt you will like the book. My copy has been circulated among friends here and is getting a bit worn…

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  2. beyond words, Lèa … thank you so very much for sharing this extraordinary slice of cultural heritage and that too of Vincent van Gogh – breathtakingly sublime

    1. Afzal, from your post on Starry Night, I suspected that you might enjoy that post and I am glad that I sent you the link. It was one of those places where even more than a hundred years later, I could feel his energy. It was like visiting Cézanne’s workshop. Kind regards, Léa

      1. it is an absolutely spellbinding piece Léa, and truly thank you for sharing it – warmest wishes and regards form South Africa

      2. Thank you my friend. French is a second language for me and I imagine I shall always be learning it. Now back to your post. Santé

    1. Thank you Afzal, how kind. I share your hopes for Peace, Equality and Justice but I’m afraid that crossing our fingers will not be enough in the face of those who want to oppress and own us all. We must educate others and rid ourselves of what divides us. Peace my friend.

      1. How true indeed … we have to be active and actively involved and enaged in bringing about our dream of more just and gentle world where the scourge of poverty and deprivation is forced to be our governments’ focus because all of our voices demand that. with you in solidarity

      2. I’m enjoying this communication but excuse me as I get back to your post. I find it fascinating. I love history, the real thing not what the oppresser wants people to believe and I enjoy politics, despite the fact that so many of the are either criminals or mentally ill.

      3. so true – mentally ill and criminals – 100% agreed 😃

        take care and stay well and we shall be in touch from time to time my new friend.

        greetings from the southern tip of the African continent

        au revoir mon ami

      4. Your post is deeply moving and I urge you to publish it. Keep at it, make a book and help light the way. Your friend in France, Léa

      5. Please keep me posted as I would love to help announce such a book. Now back to work for both of us.

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