The charming village of Auvers-sur-Oise is a popular destination for many of the best French river cruises. It was the place Vincent van Gogh spent his last months, as well as being a favourite haunt of many other artists, so the village has an intimate connection to the country’s artistic heritage. |
Auvers-sur-Oise and Vincent van Gogh
In May 1890 the artist Vincent van Gogh was discharged from an asylum in Saint-Rémy. He moved to Auvers-sur-Oise to be close to his brother Theo and live independently. Though it tragically ended with his suicide, van Gogh’s time in the village was very productive artistically.
The Dutch artist would often paint in the open air and spent a lot of time with his doctor, Paul Gachet. The two became good friends and Vincent seemed in good spirits until he sadly attempted suicide. When he shot himself in July 1890, Dr Gachet and Theo tried to care for him, though ultimately they could not save his life.
Today the village is a celebration of all the artist achieved in his lifetime and the best French river cruises make it a priority to introduce their guests to this lovely place.
Where to Visit
Just wandering around this village is a delightful experience, however, there are a few spots you won’t want to miss.
• Ravoux Inn – This is where van Gogh rented a room, for the low price of three and a half francs a night. The artist left early each morning to paint outside in the fresh air, returned at midday to eat and then spent the afternoon working in the painter’s room of the inn. During his three months here, Vincent completed around 70 paintings including a vivid portrait of Adeline Ravoux, the innkeepers’ daughter. • Garden Daubigny – The Garden Daubigny belonged to the artist Charles-Francois Daubigny before his death in 1878. Daubigny was a huge inspiration to van Gogh and the former’s widow was still inhabiting the house when the artist lived in the village. She allowed him to sketch and paint the gardens. Vincent’s first creation was roughly drawn on a tea towel as he had no paper or canvas with him. • The Cemetery – Vincent van Gogh was buried in Auvers-sur-Oise on 30 July 1890. At the funeral, the artist was mourned by his brother and Dr Gachet, as well as friends from the village and from Paris, such as Emile Bernard, Lucien Pissarro and Charles Laval. Soon after his death, Theo also passed away. In 1914, his body was moved to Auvers-sur-Oise, so the two brothers could rest side by side.
With its fascinating and yet moving connection to the life and death of Vincent van Gogh, Auvers-sur-Oise is a must see for any art lover. The village sits on the River Oise making it easily accessible from the best French river cruises in the region.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of the best French river cruises for those who like to travel in style. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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