Van Gogh's La Croqueuse Du Jardin: Letters from Provence

by Shelley Hamilton

Paris. 1889. Just before the completion of the Eiffel Tower and the opening of the Exposition Universelle, Emma du Jardin collapses after the sudden death of her baby. Her husband removes her from Paris to an asylum in far away Provence. During the months of her confinement, Emma writes to her sister, recounting her struggle to regain her emotional balance and describing her life with the eccentric asylum residents.

In 2005, Rose Forcir unearths a cache of well-preserved letters written by her grandmother over one hundred years earlier. These letters resurrect Rose’s lingering suspicion. Was her grandmother the friend, muse, and lover of Vincent van Gogh? Was the painting La Croqueuse du Jardin, which still graces the dining room wall of the family home, painted by this genius? 

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