exhausted, ill, and out of control,
Vincent Van Gogh
committed himself to St. Paul's psychiatric asylum
in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a small hamlet in the south of France.
A former monastery, the sanitarium was located in an area of cornfields,
vineyards and olive trees
There Van Gogh was allowed two small adjoining cells with barred windows.
One room he used as his bedroom,
and the other was his
not only painted
and the interior of the asylum,
he also copied
paintings and drawings
by other artists,
making those paintings
through modifications he made to the
the colors and, of course, the brush strokes.
One of the artists whose works Van Gogh copied and modified was the Dutch Gold Age painter
Rembrandt van Rijn.
The Good Samaritan by Rembrandt
drew Van Gogh's attention:
in which a
Samaritan man hoists a
with a bandaged head onto a horse to be
taken to an inn for recovery.
When Van Gogh was admitted to the sanitarium in St Remy de Provence,
he had become so difficult,
so sick that the townspeople of Arles, where he had been
living and painting had given him the name
After a psychotic break during the visit of
Van Gogh was all but put out of the town. With the help of a couple of people, he eventually made his way to the sanitarium in St Remy de Provence where he copied and modified Delacroix's painting of
The Good Samaritan.
If viewers were to see the
two paintings -
Rembrandt's and Van Gogh's side by side -
the first thing that would
strike you is the light in
Van Gogh's painting
darkness in Rembrandt's.
Though not sharing the bright colors of his paintings in Arles,
Van Gogh's painting of
The Good Samaritan, is well lit which means we can make
out things more clearly in the painting.