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“The Church at Auvers” by Vincent van Gogh

"The Church at Auvers" by Vincent van Gogh

“The Church at Auvers” by Vincent van Gogh

“The Church at Auvers” by Vincent van Gogh depicts the church in Auvers-Sur-Oise, a village in the outskirts of Paris. It was built in the 13th century in the early Gothic style and is flanked by two Romanesque chapels.

Van Gogh’s depiction of the church makes it seem as if it is on the verge of dislocating itself from the ground. The two paths seem to be clasping the church to the ground. The painting does not so much offer a faithful image of reality but a form of “expression” of the church.

Van Gogh had been dismissed from the evangelical career he had hoped for more than ten years earlier while he was living in Belgium. Vincent van Gogh had written to his brother, at that time, when he was staring his artistic career, of the dark emptiness inside a church that symbolized:

“empty and unenlightened preaching.”

Van Gogh described this painting in a letter to his sister Wilhelmina on 5 June 1890:

“I have a larger picture of the village church — an effect in which the building appears to be violet-hued against a sky of simple deep blue color, pure cobalt; the stained-glass windows appear as ultramarine blotches, the roof is violet and partly orange. In the foreground, some green plants in bloom, and sand with the pink flow of sunshine in it. And once again, it is nearly the same thing as the studies I did in Nuenen of the old tower and the cemetery, only it is probably that now the color is more expressive, more sumptuous.”

The foreground is brightly lit by the sun, but the church itself sits in its own shadow. The motif of diverging paths also appears in his painting “Wheat Field with Crows.”

"The Church at Auvers" by Vincent van Gogh

Church of Our Lady of the Assumption of Auvers -Sur- Oise

Vincent van Gogh in Auvers-Sur-Oise

In May 1890, Van Gogh left the psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy to move nearer to both Dr. Paul Gachet in Auvers-Sur-Oise and his brother Theo in Paris.

His brother Théo, who was concerned about Vincent’s health, had strongly recommended that he see Doctor Gachet, himself a painter and a friend of numerous artists.

During the two months from his arrival, in May 1890, to his death on July 29, Van Gogh made about seventy paintings and a large number of drawings.

This painting is the only painting showing the full church as the main subject. The church can be seen in the distant background of some of the views of the village in some other of Van Gogh’s paintings.

Van Gogh died in the early hours of 29 July 1890. He was buried the next day in the municipal cemetery of Auvers-Sur-Oise.

Theo died at the age of 33, six months after his brother died. Their two graves and two gravestones are side by side in the cemetery of Auvers-Sur-Oise.

"The Church at Auvers" by Vincent van Gogh

Graves of Vincent and Théodore Van Gogh

The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, view from the Chevet

  • Title:                    The church in Auvers-sur-Oise, view from the Chevet
  • French:                L’église d’Auvers-sur-Oise, vue du chevet
  • Artist:                  Vincent van Gogh
  • Year:                    June 1890
  • Medium:             Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions         Height: 93 cm (36.6 in); Width: 74.5 cm (29.3 in)
  • Movement:         post-Impressionist
  • Museum:            Musée d’Orsay

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Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Willem van Gogh is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime and was considered a madman and a failure.

He created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life.

They were characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive, and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art.

Vincent van Gogh, The Church at Auvers – Soundscape Painting

Vincent van Gogh



The Church at Auvers Discovery

The Church in Auvers Vincent Van Gogh

The Church in Auvers Vincent Van Gogh

The Church at Auvers – Drone painting


“The best way to know God is to love many things.”
– Vincent van Gogh


Photo Credit: 1) Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; Wapakk / CC BY-SA (; Héric SAMSON / CC BY-SA (

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