In Arles, van Gogh returned to (and refined) his previous favorite subject matter–rural-themed painting after Millet, landscape, and portraiture, escaping the Impressionist theoretical and methodological influence that posed the danger of making him "irrevocably dulled" (L 21 Feb. 1888). Nearly all of the paintings that have become associated with van Gogh in our culture, the vast majority of his masterpieces in his mature style, were painted in the compulsively productive final two and half years of his life, in Arles and then in the St. Remy asylum and Auvers, where he died. Vincent was taken with the southern rural charm of Arles, and particularly with the women, and he began his stay there painting winter landscapes and still lives. He moved on to the blossoming fruit trees in the spring, his favorite of which was Flowering Tree, Souvenir
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