Theraputic Landscapes-Van Gogh


In learning about therapeutic landscapes as well as healing gardens, the story of Van Gogh initially came to mind. He checked himself into the St. Paul asylum in 1889, and remained a patient there until 1890. Most of his paintings at this time were either drawn from his window looking out, or on the property of the hospital of the surrounding landscapes. What interests me about this time in his life is the paintings he created were dominantly of the nature surrounding the hospital, and had a happier tone than those painted of the interior of the hospital itself. These scenes provided him with a sense of calm, as he had a deep connection with nature. This tells a similar story as some of the studies we have read about, and just how important it is for there to be landscapes, gardens, and integration of nature in spaces for healing. Mountainous-Landscape-Behind-Saint-Paul-Hospital.jpg



Hi Leah,

I am really glad you shared this story about Van Gogh. I have always admired his paintings of nature and the landscape around him. I knew he used to sit for whole days just observing a single landscape to truly be able to understand its beauty and to capture it, but I did not know he checked himself into the St. Paul Asylum. It is very interesting how he used painting and the landscape around him to help himself escape. I agree with you about how these scenes he captures show his connection he has with nature and the calm he feels when he is engulfed in nature.


This was a great entry for me to read. My mom visited the region that St Paul's is in, and brought me some painting pigments, which caused me to look into his paintings from that time of life. I really liked your side by side comparison of the inside paintings and outside paintings - a good point you make about the timbre of the paintings. I was thinking about how well your story fit with Logan and Selhub's article about biological markers that improve after interactions with the therapeutic landscapes - not only do his paintings look more cheerful, but he may have had less cortisol!

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This page contains a single entry by alper050 published on February 20, 2013 5:26 PM.

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