A place of pilgrimage

On 28 July 2020, the painter’s great-great-nephew and namesake, Vincent Willem van Gogh, as well as Emilie Gordenker, the director of the Van Gogh Museum, unveiled the site in front of the world’s television cameras.

Photo credit Maxime Stange
From left to right: Dominique-Charles Janssens, President of the Institut Van Gogh / Marie-Christine Cavecchi, President of the Departmental Council of the Val d’Oise / Vincent Willem van Gogh, great-great nephew of Vincent van Gogh / Wouter van der Veen, Scientific Director of the Institut Van Gogh / Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam / Barbara Vroom-Cramer, President of the Van Gogh Foundation/ Friso Wijnen, Attaché for Culture and Communication, Dutch Embassy in Paris / Janne Heling, board member of the Van Gogh Foundation.

Tree Roots, Auvers-sur-Oise, inauguration

A few days later, the first curious sightseers came to experience this moving place, perhaps imagining themselves following in the footsteps of Vincent and looking over his shoulder as his paintbrush touched the easel for the last time.

Hidden Tree Roots, fence

Tree Roots Concealed

They were sadly disappointed. The municipality had given instructions for Van Gogh’s Tree Roots to be concealed behind a barrier, which is still in place today.