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Vincent van Gogh
The Prison Courtyard. February 1890

The extreme tension of work without a break led to another bout of insanity, and he was sent to a psychiatric hospital. The artist expressed his state of extreme depression and sense of lacking personal freedom in his most tragic picture The Prison Courtyard, which was painted at the beginning of 1890 in the Saint-Rémy asylum. For this work Van Gogh made use of the composition in an engraving after a drawing by Gustave Doré. One of the prisoners tramping round in a circle inside the well of endless brick walls shows features resembling the artist himself.

Vincent van Gogh