Passing through a field of sunflowers we enter into the city of Arles. The Roman amphitheater is a few centuries older than the stages for the Van Gogh paintings and provides more than focus to Arles. The colours of the skies, uninterrupted by clouds, and the stars at night, unobscured by clouds, lay the foundation for a painterly record. You might play stick the painting on the picture or some other amusement as you wander through town.
The stage for a painting has become the throne for selfies. The tourist crowd and the years have taken this daylight version of a melancholy night cafe and turned it from dive to arrive.
Before the gate the remains of the set mark the entrance to Arles and the cobblestones journey into a world of history. A history of two theatre sites and two theatre styles and a brief encounter of two artists (years later) with very different approaches to style. The image below at the divergence of two roads, might in a Frost way point toward divergence rather than convergence.
In the swirling stories of wellness centers and cloistered walkways the golden arches may hint at a greater malaise. There is in the compulsion of Van Gogh an urgency to get the paint out.
In the last months of his life he produced more than one major work per day. Now if that is not urgency coupled with insight and skill, nothing is. Walking the streets of Paris we saw the paint squeezed under the doorway. Paint pouring onto the street. It might be that somewhere between the Roman Theatre, the Van Gogh paintings and today there is a connection. Live and enjoy life with monumental urgency turning dark to light and light to dark.