between the Rhone and the sea, that remote village, far away from the
inland towns, is inhabited by fishers, gardians, small peasants who grow
vineyards, rye and rice.
It has a charm of its own
That end-of-the-world atmosphere charmed
Mistral who chose les Saintes-Maries de la Mer for the last Act of Mireio,
a long epic poem.
Vincent knows the story of Mireille, who dies of love in the high chapel
of The Saintes-Maries de la Mers church, after crossing the Camargue
And whose unfortunate hero is called
Vila de la Mar which became Nostra Dama de la Mar,
then Les Saintes-Maries de la Mer », has about 800 inhabitants.
Around two hundred houses surround a nice fortified Roman church, a defensive
site and a highly regarded place of pilgrimage since the twelwth century.
In a Letter to Theo, he expressed his fear of the wind preventing him
from working outside,
but in fact he would quickly paint the three canvas he had brought with
him, and would achieve more than a dozen drawings.
After a five-hour trip, by stagecoach, crossing vineyards, moors,
fields as flat as Holland, Vincent discovers the village: I
dont think there are 100 houses in this village or this town. You
should see these houses, like those in Drenthes heaths and peat
bogs . The main edifice after the old church, ancient fortress, is the
He boards in a small inn and soon sets to work; As always, he goes for
walks, looking for patterns to paint or draw..
He was in a hurry to see the sea, the beach ravishes him: on the
all-flat, sandy beach, small green, red, blue boats whose shapes and colours
are so beautiful like flowers.