Les Alyscamps, 1888 by Vincent Van Gogh

Paul Gauguin finally arrived in Arles on 23 October 1888 much to Van Gogh's delight. He had decorated and furnished the 'Yellow House' in preparation for his friend, and had his hopes pinned on establishing a joint studio and possibly even attracting other artists to the area. It was a rather different arrangement from Gauguin's perspective. Theo Van Gogh had come to an agreement with Gauguin, and was paying him a fee in return for 12 paintings a year. It was decided that by Gauguin and Van Gogh sharing their accommodation and studio their costs could be reduced, and so at base it was something of a financial decision for the artist to join Van Gogh. It also become quickly apparent that it was a situation that was not going to work.

This painting was one of several of the same subject and was one of the first paintings done with both artists working side-by-side. Their approach and concept of the some motif, however, was very different, even though Van Gogh subsequently worked partially under Gauguin's influence.