An Unappreciated Man--Vincent Van Gogh
St. Remy didn't exactly welcome the struggling artist during his time there in 1889. Most people thought Vincent Van Gogh was "crazy" and although he executed 150 paintings his strange art wasn't appreciated.
Depressed most of his life, Vincent admitted himself into the Asylum of Saint Paul de Mausole. It was at this point he painted Starry Night and a self portrait of himself.
In 1890, after a year of treatment, he left the hospital and traveled to Paris. There he took a gun and shot himself in July of 1890. He lingered for two days, then died at the age of 37.
Although he was an unknown in his lifetime, he became one of history's greatest painters in later years.
For more information go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_van_Gogh
Saint Remy--A Town Nestled in the Alpilles
"Grand Old Fountains"
What do Vincent Van Gogh, Nostradamos and the Grimaldi family have in common? They all have connections with the medieval town of St. Remy. Nostradamos was born here, Van Gogh was confined to an asylum and painted here and the Grimaldi family owned it once upon a time. Grimaldi, as in Princess Caroline of Monaco's family.
We arrived quite early in the morning before the chickens even peeked out of their pens. Well, actually, it was a cold, brisk morning in the Alpilles Mountains when our bus dropped us off. We were VERY underdressed for the climate and spent some time looking for a shop in which to buy warmer clothing.
It was bull racing weekend, but unfortunately we were on a fixed time schedule and had to depart before all the excitement began. The streets were just being prepared and iron gates being set up when we left.
After seeing a great deal of the medieval architecture, the town's residents began appearing with shopping baskets on wheels and children in hand to do the day's shopping. It was wonderful being in the mix!
My imagination went wild that morning as we walked the historic streets and gawked at the architectural stand-outs in the town. I could see myself embroiled in the day's shopping, loaves of bread in hand, stopping by the cafe for my morning pastry and coffee with my silk scarf wrapped casually about my neck, newspaper in hand and greeting one and all passers by. Historic towns do that to me....I drift back into the past and wish that I could be a part of its earlier days...perhaps for twenty four hours. Wouldn't it be grand?
"A Step Back in Time"
"Old World Charm"
There are so many gems of little towns to visit in Provence. We fell in love with pretty Joucas
Just little things about this town sort of spoke to me...
Another astounding place was Gordes...falling off the hillside like so...Yet it is a town that is still alive, not totally Disney-like, there's people who live here every day. I like to find those spots.
Another scene from Gordes
Every town has a fountain in a "major" square or park. I have to say, we were here on a weekday, before the busy tourist scene of summer.
This is a bourie, on the outskirts of Gourdes, near the parking lot...shepherds used to use them as shelters while moving their flocks across the countryside.
and then there was the exquisite town of Bonnieux...oh, dear...I've run out of "chapters" for this travelogue and will have to begin another to share some of the charms of Bonnieux!