Mon Van Gogh with Élisa Farran

Vincent Van Gogh, “Champ de blé derrière l’hospice Saint-Paul avec un faucheur (La Moisson)”, 1889. Oil on canvas, 59.5 x 72.5 cm. Museum Folkwang, Essen

My Van Gogh is multiple things. He is a painter – figurative, landscape and modern. He is (and he is in) Saint-Rémy-de-Provence because his presence makes itself felt there every day in the Alpilles hills, in the blue of the night and in the olive trees. My Van Gogh is a mediator, actively engaged with the world. Without him, the Musée Estrine would not exist, the artists of the Alpilles would certainly not have the same confidence, and a facet of modernism would not have been born somewhere in Provence at the end of the 19th century. But my Van Gogh is also a European, a lover of literature, an art critic and a collector who commands admiration and wards off the demons of melancholy. Indeed, my Van Gogh is everywhere, even in the eyes through which we perceive the world and whose gaze he shapes in order that we may see it better.

Élisa Farran is an art historian and scientific director at the Musée Estrine, which houses the Centre d’Interprétation Vincent van Gogh. She has organized more than thirty exhibitions devoted to painting and to artists of the 20th and 21th century, including Pierre Tal Coat, Gérard Fromanger, Gilles Aillaud, Eduardo Arroyo and Paul Rebeyrolle. Her research focuses on the relationships between music and painting, the question of figuration and the genre of landscape in 20th-century painting.