Arles! part 1

Arles!  I have been meaning to visit this beautiful city for five years but yesterday Dan and I finally made it.  Famous for its extraordinarily well preserved Roman monuments (the most notable of which is Les Arenes at it’s centre – yep the one in Ronin), the light, the Camargue and Vincent Van Gogh, this surprisingly small city has a lot going on.  The historic centre is compact enough to walk across in a few minutes and the Rhone means that the light really is bouncing around all over the place.  There are 1o ‘points of interest’ (terrible phrase) that the tourist office suggest you visit but realistically the whole place looks like a picture postcard.  With that in mind, first past the post is the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles and it’s incredible kaleidoscopic light filled building.
lightI should say Van Gogh lived in Arles for a few years and produced some of his most well known works here.  There is a fair bit to see here if Van Gogh’s your man, including the hospital he was admitted to after he cut off the lower part of his ear.  Back in the fondation the coloured glass rectangles on the roof are a permanent installation by artist Raphael Hefti. The Violet Blue Green Yellow Orange Red House is quite honestly one of the happiest things I’ve ever seen, and I should I ever get to build my own house this will definitely feature.
Raphael HeftiIn the galleries there was David Hockney’s Arrival of Spring series – 12 drawings created by Hockney on his iPad and ink jet colour printed in large format (236cm x 178cm) accompanied by charcoal works entitled Woldgate, The Arrival of Spring 2013.Woldgate, The Arrival of Spring in 2013The two togetherI’m pretty sure I saw most of these pieces at the RA’s A Bigger Picture show in 2012 but there was something really wonderful about being able to stand back (as opposed to being pushed back) and see them all as a one-r.  Needless to say, this being France, the gallery was blissfully under utilised.  up closeskylights

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