Vincent van Gogh «Starry Night» 1889.
Starry Night, 1889
The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
On May 8, 1889, Van Gogh, accompanied by a carer, Rev. Salles, was admitted to the mental hospital of Saint-Paul-de Mausole in a former monastery in Saint Rémy de Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, France, a little less than 20 miles from Arles. It was run by a former naval doctor who had no specialist qualifications. Van Gogh had two small rooms, one for use as a studio. During his stay there, the clinic and its garden became his main subject. At this time some of his work was characterised by swirls, as in one of his best-known paintings, Starry Night. He took some short supervised walks, which gave rise to images of cypresses and olive trees, but because of the shortage of subject matter due to his limited access to the outside world, he painted interpretations of Millet's paintings, as well as his own earlier work, in September 1889 two of Vincent's Bedroom in Arles, and in February 1890 four of L'Arlésienne (Madame Ginoux), identical to a charcoal sketch by Gauguin.