I arrive to Arles by train, coming from Paris in search of the southern light and warm colors of the south of France.
The city smells of art in all its corners since Arles was one of the towns in which Van Gogh lived towards the end of his life; where he painted famous works as “The Yellow House”, “The Sunflowers” or “The Room”.
Van Gogh himself came to say: “Here nature is extraordinarily beautiful. Everything and everywhere, blue sky is to be admired….”
The Dutch master painted more than 300 works in the 15 months during which he stayed in the city. I decide to take a walk around this town, full of remnants of its Roman past, following the so-called “path of Van Gogh”, in which I visit the 10 most emblematic places which inspired the painter to create most of his masterpieces; spots where the painter placed his easel.
I decide to start my stroll in the square of the ancient Roman forum, one of the most lively squares of Arles, which still preserves the famous “Café La Nuit” painted by Van Gogh in his work; “In Front of the Night Café” which can be admired in Yale University.
The crossbreeding between gypsy and Provençal cultures which the city exudes, influenced the designer Christian Lacroix . Born in this “city of the Mediterranean”, as he called it, and influenced from childhood by the bullfights, it was the Easter carnival what marked a creative evolution throughout his career. He dressed women combining “époque” lace dresses with modern high heels and hats. Each garment has a unique history. The Réattu Museum of Arles renders a tribute to Lacroix in the form of a large high fashion study.
During the evening I stroll along the banks of the majestic river which embraces the city stopping to observe boats steaming and berthing by the river port, something relaxing to the eyes and the travelling soul.
José Enrique (Montevideo, Uruguay)