By sampling from different genres of art and styles of painting, Van Gogh was developing his own iconic style. After only 2 years in Paris, his work had been transformed. This is when he started signing his ‘worthy’ paintings as Vincent.
However, despite the comfort he found in Paris, Van Gogh was longing to once again lose himself in nature – he was in search of colors and inspiration the monochromatic Parisian streets simply did not offer.
In the winter of 1888, aged 35, Vincent set out to explore the south of France. In two years, he would be dead. His time was not idly spent, however. In these 2 years he would paint some of his most iconic works.
Almost by accident, Vincent stumbled upon Arles on his journey south. He was dazzled by the colors and sunshine, and found the surrounding landscapes reminiscent of the Japanese prints he so loved. Again, he started losing himself in nature on long, solitary walks.
Vincent started painting at a frantic pace, maybe sensing the steady, unstoppable approach of the void. He perfected his own style of quick, short brushstrokes, and with an almost machine-like speed, was able to produce up to three masterpieces a day.
Vincent found lodgings in the Yellow House. Although he had found the perfect setting for his art and psyche, he felt isolated from people – the locals treated his art with indifference. He determined that Arles would be the perfect haven for artists, and set about writing to artists he admired to join him.