THE ATTACKS CONTINUE (Illustration) Biographies Famous People Geography Medicine Social Studies Visual Arts Nineteenth Century Life

While still a patient at Saint-Paul Hospital in Saint-Rémy, Vincent continued to paint what he observed (among other things). This oil-on-canvas, which measures 74 x 92 cm, depicts “The Road Menders.” Vincent created it during November of 1889. Today it is owned by the Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. Click on the image for a better view.


After Dr. Peyron allowed him to resume painting, Vincent still had attacks. By mid-August, his self-portrait reveals a man who seems sadder than usual. By the next month, he appears without his characteristic beard and moustache, apparently thinking about more independent days as he paints his bedroom in Arles.

By the last part of 1889, Vincent seemed somewhat better. He was allowed to paint outside again, taking full advantage of the privilege as he recorded scenes at, and near, the hospital. Theo, meanwhile, had married Johanna (Jo) Bonger and, while the young couple looked forward to a happy life, Theo himself was unwell.

A bit of good news may have helped Vincent's emotional state. Theo had arranged for six of his brother's paintings to be shown at a Brussels exhibition called Les XX. As 1889 progressed, van Gogh continued to paint while a patient at Saint-Paul.

However, on the 23rd of December - the first anniversary of his ear-slashing incident - Vincent had another major attack. He told his brother what happened:

Odd that I had been working perfectly calmly on some canvases that you will soon see, and that suddenly, without any reason, the aberration seized me again. (Vincent to Theo, 1st or 2nd of January, 1890.)

Within a week, van Gogh recovered and resumed painting. Because of the weather, and his medical condition, he mostly stayed indoors where he copied the works of other artists.

During the early months of 1890, Vincent suffered more attacks. During the spring, even as he painted peaceful, beautiful scenes, his emotional state was not stable. It was becoming clear that he needed to go north - closer to Paris and his brother - instead of remaining in the south where he had no family and few friends.

After doing some research, Theo found a physician who could care for Vincent. Dr. Paul Gachet, a therapist who lived in Auvers-sur-Oise, seemed to be a good choice. His home was an hour's train ride from Paris - and Theo - so Vincent agreed with the proposal.

On the 16th of May, 1890, Vincent took the overnight train to Paris. It would be his last lengthy journey.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5199stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2008

Updated Last Revision: May 21, 2019

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"THE ATTACKS CONTINUE" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2008. Jul 20, 2024.
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