Friday, April 11, 2008

Auvers sur Oise

Yesterday had a wonderful day. Went out of Paris on the suburban trains - had to change differently there on the way there and back which was interesting - but had a timetable printed out for me by a helpful person at the ticket office. I headed to Auvers-sur-Oise which was where van Gogh lived his last weeks in the company of his brother, and painted prolifically.

When I arrived in the town, I decided to head uphill towards the church first. Good choice. Had 12th century part of the building up the front side. Outside there was a sign showing van Gogh's superb painting of this old part of the church from the outside, plus the bell tower etc. I stood in awe.

The cemetery where Vincent and his brother Theo were buried was not far away. I was hesitant to wander, as the graves were not signposted, and locals were tending to their own modern day graves. But I found the graves, covered with a leafy plant, near a wall. There were two simple matching headstones.
Best bit came next. I saw a sign pointing to another painting site, not far away in a field, so I went to look. Just being in the countryside brought back lovely memories of my time cycling in the Loire. Ahhhhh; Plus it made me think about how I would soon be walking on tracks like this. I was able to follow the track down into the town itself.
I had a delicious lunch then went to find the Dr's house..... can't recall name sorry.. but he was mentor and friend, and van Gogh painted his portrait. The house and garden were very atmospheric, and the woman running it was very friendly and welcoming and spoke good English. Next I went to Daubigny's house: he was initiator of plein air painting.... and used to go out on a boat in the river Oise to paint. This wee village was quite a hotbed of artists in its time.
My feet were hot and tired by had turned into a very warm day, and I was wishing I had brought t-shirt and sandles with me instead of raincoat!
What a lovely place to wander. If it wasn't so impractical, I would have bought a poster of van Gogh's painting of the Auvers church. I will just have to remember it by my photo!


  1. Nice to see you getting around Kiwi.

  2. KIWI- you are sending me into a tailspin of jelousy mixed with the urge to get on a plane!

  3. Thanks maalie... and wishing I had sandles and t-shirt on yesterday I might add!
    simon.... I was thinking about you yesterday actually, and I knew you would love to be there! I had a superb day, and hopefully will find cheaper internet later today to blog more about it.