Corridor in the Asylum

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

Date: September 1889

Medium: Oil color and essence over black chalk on pink laid ("Ingres") paper

Dimensions: 25 5/8 x 19 5/16in. (65.1 x 49.1cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Bequest of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1948

Accession Number: 48.190.2


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.