On Sunday, we visited the asylum of St. Paul de Mausole near Arles where Vincent van Gogh voluntarily committed himself after lopping off part of his ear and sending it to his girlfriend. The facility still functions as an asylum and we were only allowed to visit a small portion of the facility. The place is no doubt an asylum. We heard unsettling shrieks and wails coming from behind high walls. Art therapy remains an important part of the treatment plan for many of the asylum’s patients. Van Gogh painted prolifically here and the olive grove that he painted still stands near the asylum. Whether any of these trees were there when van Gogh painted them is anybody’s guess.




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