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This Arlesiana, Mrs. Ginoux, is the lessee of the Cafe de la Station in Arles and was frequently in contact with the artists, in particular, Gauguin and Van Gogh. The first also represented her, while the second, who lived in her house when he arrived in Arles, would remain close to her throughout her stay. Suffering herself from "nervous breakdowns", Mrs. Ginoux attends Van Gogh when he was hospitalized, in December 1888.
Evoking several times the beauty of the women dressed in the regional costume, in his correspondence, he writes to his brother Théo: "Finally I have an Arlesiana, a figure ready in an hour, pale lemon background, gray face, black dress, black black, Prussian blue, really crude, leaning on a green table and sitting in an orange wood chair. "
The search for popular types and the obsession for the portrait are combined in the Arlesiana. Despite being of an impressive size, this painting only required one hour for its execution, the speed of the brushstroke contrasting with the meditative pose.
Without hiding the physical defects, which even tend to accentuate to reveal more the profound humanity of the model in what is unique, the painter isolates his figure on a yellow background almost gaudy, living Provencal icon.