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Espace Van Gogh

The Provençal town of Arles sits on the banks of the River Rhône southwest of Avignon and is placed firmly on the tourist trail for its UNESCO-listed Roman ruins, Romanesque cathedral, one of the biggest Saturday produce markets in France and for being the latter-day home of tortured artist Vincent Van Gogh. He arrived in Arles in February 1888 and fell in love with both the town and its rural environs, painting its historic center and spectacular landscapes repeatedly. Some of his most famous works were among the 180 he produced during this time, including Starry Night, several versions of The Sunflowers and The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night. Sadly this prolific period did not continue and he soon succumbed to mental illness; following a fracas with his fellow artist Paul Gauguin on Dec. 24, 1888, Van Gogh lopped off his ear and was hospitalized in the 16th-century Hôtel-Dieu-Saint-Espirit.

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