Arles et Vincent Van Gogh
Today the name of Arles is inseparable from that of Van Gogh. He came attracted by the light in the south of France. Vincent arrived in Arles one day in February 1888 in search of this light both in and out of doors .
This marked the start of a period of intense and passionate work under the light of the Midi. His stay in Arles was the most productive time in the painter's life, in terms of paintings and drawings: the more than 300 pieces of work produced in the space of 15 months, form one of the brightest chapters of the history of Art. Even though the city today owns none of Van Gogh's paintings, his influence is omnipresent.
Arles et Pablo Picasso
Picasso was attracted to Arles due to his Andalusian passion for bullfights, and above all, by the mesmerizing presence of Vincent Van Gogh.
His first exhibition here in 1957, organised in the Réattu museum by Jean-Maurice Rouquette, helped strengthen the bonds which the artist had always maintained with Arles.
The following year, in Vauvenargues, Picasso carried out a series of eight portraits of Jacqueline dressed in Arlesian traditional costume, an amplified echo of his Arlesiennes painting of 1912, and of 1937, this time with Lee Miller for a model, who had never worn the costume, no more so than Jacqueline, but which drew on the yellows used in the portrait of Madame Ginoux.
It was in 1971, two years before his death, that Picasso sealed his attachment to the city by donating a carefully selected collection of fifty seven paintings to the museum.