Corridor in the Asylum

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise)

September 1889
Oil color and essence over black chalk on pink laid ("Ingres") paper
25-5/8 x 19-5/16 in. (65.1 x 49.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1948
Accession Number:
  • Description

    This haunting view of a sharply receding corridor is the artist's most powerful depiction of the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole in St. Rémy, where he spent twelve months near the end of his life and where he painted the Museum's oils of olive groves, cypresses, roses, and irises ("Women Picking Olives" (1995.535.44); "Olive Orchard" (1998.325.1); "Cypresses" (49.30); "Wheat Field with Cypresses" (1993.132); "Irises" (58.187); "Vase of Roses" (1993.400.5)). The buildings (largely remains of a twelfth-century monastery) were divided into men's and women's wards, but most of the small cells looking out on the neglected garden were empty when Van Gogh was there. One of the rooms he was able to use as a studio.

    The artist sent this unusually large and colorful drawing to his brother Theo, to give a picture of his surroundings.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: [recto in graphite, lower right]: 14; [verso in pen and ink]: no. 14; [verso inscribed in graphite]: Hospice a St Remy

    Marking: [watermark]: AL [in banderole] BAS

  • Provenance

    Theo van Gogh (Dutch, died 1891); Vincent Willem van Gogh(the artist's nephew); Leicester Galleries, London, 1927; Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller (American), New York 1929; Mrs. J. D. Rockefeller (American); Donor: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller

  • Exhibition History

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 30, 1998–February 8, 1999.

  • Catalogue Raisonné

    Faille 1529; Hulsker 1808; Pickvance 1986, no. 6

  • References

    Vincent van Gogh Exhibition. 1926, cat. no. 2102.

    Exhibition catalogue. 1929, cat. no. 97.

    Exhibition catalogue. 1955, cat. no. 2, 53.

    Montross Gallery, New York Vincent Van Gogh.. 1920, cat. no. 7.

    Modern Works of Art. Ex. cat. Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1934, cat. no. 18, ill.

    Tentoonstelling Vincent van Gogh. 1905, cat. no. 363.

    Teekeningen door Vincent van Gogh: uit de verzameling van mevrouw J. van Gogh-Bonger en den heer V. W. van Gogh. 1914, cat. no. 156.

    Vincent van Gogh. New York, 1935, cat. no. 120, ill.

    "Painting and Sculpture in The Museum of Modern Art, New York." in Bulletin. Museum of Modern Art, New York, vol. 17, nos. 2-3 (supp.), New York, 1950, fig. no. p. 2, p. 827, ill.

    Van Gogh. 1951, cat. no. 19.

    Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Masters of Modern Art. New York, 1954, p. 27 (color ill, ill.

    John Rewald Post-Impressionism: from van Gogh to Gauguin. 1st ed. (later eds. 1962, 1978). New York, 1956, p. 325 (color il, ill.

    J. B. De La Faille The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings. New York, 1970.. Rev. ed of 1928 catalogue raisonné. New York, 1970, cat. no. 1529, ill.

    The Symbolist Aesthetic. Ex. cat. Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 1980-81, cat. no. 23.

    Ronald Pickvance Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy and Auvers. Ex. cat., 25 November 1986-22 March 1987. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986, cat. no. 6, fig. no. color ill. p. 91, pp. 88-93, ill.

    Christopher Finch Nineteenth-Century Watercolors. New York, London, Paris, 1991, fig. no. 362, pp. 274, 276, ill.

    Jan Hulsker The New Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches Revised and Enlarged Edition of the Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of Vincent Van Gogh. revised ed. of 1980 catalogue raisonné. Amsterdam, 1996, cat. no. 1808, p. 416, ill.

    Colta Ives, Susan Alyson Stein, Sjraar van Heugten, Marije Vellekoop, Marjorie Shelley, Silvia A. Centeno Vincent van Gogh: The Drawings. Ex. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2005, 353-54,358-59, illus. p. 323, cat. no. 113, fig. no. 264,268, 53,280,296, 322, ill.

    Dr. Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Heinz Widauer, Sjraar van Heugten, Marije Vellekoop Van Gogh: Heartfelt Lines. Ex. cat., Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, Sept. 5-Dec. 8. Cologne, 2008, cat. no. 122, pp. 394-398, ill.

  • See also