View of Arles from Montmajour

  • Artist: Vincent van Gogh
  • Creation date: Mellom 27. og 29. mai 1888
  • Object type: Drawing

Not on display


In February 1888 Vincent van Gogh arrived at the southern French city of Arles, where he stayed for over a year and painted some of his most famous pictures. But his lengthy sojourn there also heralded the beginning of the end: his friend Paul Gauguin visited him in autumn 1888, and their time together led to van Gogh suffering a mental breakdown. In May1889 he left Arles to seek help at an asylum in the small town of Saint-Rémy in Provence. In spring 1890 he relocated to Auvers-sur-Oise outside of Paris, where he took his own life later that summer.

View of Arles from Montmajour shows the vista from a ridge northeast of Arles. Montmajour was known as one of the more picturesque localities in the environs of Arles, with its abundant vegetation, venerable abbey, and stunning view of the flat plains of the southernmost part of the Rhône Valley. The foreground is dominated by shrubs and pine trees that partially obscure the road leading toward the city in the background. In the picture, the medieval city of Arles is still characterized by its many church steeples, although a few towering smokestacks harbinger the onset of modern industry. Van Gogh employed a variety of pens to create the drawing, using a blunt reed pen for the rough vegetation in the foreground and a finer quill pen for the intricate details of the background.

Along with several other of the works left behind by van Gogh, View of Arles from Montmajour was shown at Den Frie Udstilling in Copenhagen in 1893 and sold to a Danish collector. In 1905 the National Gallery acquired it as the first work by van Gogh in its collection.

Text: Nils Messel

From "Highlights. Art from Antiquity to 1945", Nasjonalmuseet 2014, ISBN 978-82-8154-088-0


Vincent van Gogh

Visual artist

Born 1853 in Groot-Zundert, death 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise

Depicted place

Work info

Creation date:
Mellom 27. og 29. mai 1888
Other titles:
Utsikt mot Arles fra Montmajour (NOR)
Vue d'Arles prise de Montmajour (FRE)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Rør- og fjærpenn og blyant på papir
  • Width: 590 mm
  • Height: 480 mm
Motif - type:
Motif - location:
Production place:
Purchased 1905
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Børre Høstland/Lathion, Jacques