Vincent Van Gogh returns to Arles

Vincent Van Gogh spent about 15 months in Arles, South of France. During this time he created around 200 paintings and it was his most prolific period. None of them remained there but ten of his post-impressionist works have been returned on loan for the opening of a new gallery dedicated to Van Gogh which recently opened in Arles.

The exhibition 'Van Gogh Live!' which runs from 7 April to 31 August 2014, highlights his links with the city, and his wonderful legacy and influences that has made him one of the five most famous artists in the world. He came to live in Arles in 1888 because he was in search of a 'different kind of light'. The time in Arles was to become the most productive of his life, painting masterpieces such as Sunflowers and The Bedroom.

Vincent Van Gogh

The gallery is housed in a 15th-century mansion which has been restored and extended in the medieval quarter of Méjan. On the edge of this quarter used to stand the yellow house where Van Gogh lived and famously cut off his left ear.

Vincent Van Gogh

The project is funded by Luc Hoffmann, whose grandfather founded the Basel-based Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceutical company. His daughter Maja, who is also closely involved with the Arles foundation, collects contemporary art (see related story). The Hoffmanns have donated €12m for the conversion of the Hôtel Léautaud de Donines and further money for operating costs over the next five years. The city has provided the building.

The gallery will also show contemporary art. The opening display "Van Gogh Live!" (7 April-31 August), organised by the Arles foundation's artistic director and curator Bice Curiger, focusses on work inspired by Van Gogh, and includes pieces by Gary Hume, Bethan Huws, Thomas Hirshhorn and Guillaume Bruère, along with permanent installations by Raphael Hefti and Bertrand Lavier. An exhibition on Van Gogh's drawings is scheduled for 2015 and a larger show of paintings the following year.

Swiss pharmaceutical heiress and contemporary art collector Maja Hoffmann's Luma Foundation has given €100m to establish an ambitious cultural project in the city. The Arts Resource Centre designed by the Canadian-born, Californian-based architect Frank Gehry, will be the centrepiece of the 20-acre Luma Arles campus.

Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles
35 Rue du Docteur Fanton
13200 Arles, Provence, France
+ 33 (0) 4 90 93 08 08
www.fondation-vincentvangogh-arles.org
Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to 7pm (to 9pm on Thursday)
Price: 9€ adults, 4€ for youth and students, free for children under 12