Studio of the South (Hardcover)

Van Gogh in Provence

By Martin Bailey

Frances Lincoln, 9780711236677, 224pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

List Price: 40.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Studio of the South tells the story of Van Goghâ??s period in Arles in 1888â??9, when his powers were at their height. Based on original research, the book reveals discoveries that throw new light on the legendary artist and give a definitive account of his fifteen months spent in Arles, including his collaboration with Gauguin.
Van Gogh headed to Arles believing that the landscape of Provence would have parallels with Japan, whose art he greatly admired. The south of France was an exciting new land, bursting with life. He loved walking the 5 kilometres up into the hills with the ruined abbey of Montmajour and in late spring he drew and painted over a dozen landscapes there. He went on an excursion to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a fishing village on the far side of the Camargue, where he saw the Mediterranean for the first time, energetically capturing it in paint. He painted portraits of friends and locals, and embarked on his flower still life paintings, culminating in the Sunflowers. During the heat of the Provencal summer, Van Gogh painted harvest scenes. He rented the Yellow House from May, and gradually did it up, calling it â??an artistâ??s houseâ??, inviting Paul Gauguin to join him there. This encounter was to have a profound impact on both of the artists. They painted side by side in the Alyscamps, an ancient necropolis on the outskirts of town, their collaboration coming to a dramatic end in December.
The difficulties Van Gogh faced living by himself led to his eventual decision in May 1889 to retreat to the asylum at Saint-Remy. One of his final tasks at the Yellow House was to pack up two crates with his last eight monthsâ?? of paintings. Unsold in his lifetime, the pictures have since been recognized as some of the greatest works of art ever created.


About the Author

Martin Bailey is the main writer for The Art Newspaper and is the leading UK specialist on Van Gogh. With a background in investigative journalism, Martin Bailey began work on Van Gogh in the late 1980s. He has curated two exhibitions and written extensively on the artist. His book Letters from Provence sold over 60,000 copies in five languages, including German, French, Danish and Spanish. He is also the author of The Sunflowers Are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh's Masterpiece and Young Vincent: The Story of Van Gogh's Years in England. Studio of the South assesses Van Gogh's work during his stay in Provence, a time when he produced his most famous paintings.

Praise For Studio of the South: Van Gogh in Provence

 “the text is richly detailed, often anecdotal, exuding the warmth you’d expect if [Martin Bailey] were speaking of a close friend...a vivid illumination of the artist’s prolific 15-month stay in Provence...the book is able to offer a true insight into Vincent the man - not just Van Gogh the artist.”
- Art Quarterly

"a revelatory study"
- The Times