“His unattractive appearance, his touchy character, his whims had alienated people. He had never analyzed his illness more clearly, endured men’s hostility with so much resignation, or spoken of his art with more common sense and lucidity, but now he was considered mad. He was sent back to the hospital. In Paris, Theo [Vincent’s brother and virtually sole source of support], who was going to be married, became alarmed and sent the painter Signac to see him. Signac spent the day of March 24th with Vincent, who kept on painting, reading, writing in spite of the crises. When he felt too ill, he asked to be interned at the asylum of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, on May 3rd, 1889.
The Arles period was over, the most fruitful if not the most original of his career. During the year he remained at the asylum he produced another hundred and fifty pictures, and hundreds of drawings, working as one possessed, interrupted in his labor by three long crises, followed by painful prostrations. He painted Yellow Wheat, Starry Night, Asylum Grounds in Autumn, a few portraits including that of the Chief Superintendent of the Asylum, delirious landscapes, surging mountains, whirling suns, cypresses and olive trees twisted by heat. In compensation, rhythm became more intense: whirling arabesques, dismantled forms, perspective fleeing toward the horizon in a desperate riot of lines and colours. What he represented then on his canvases he seems to have seen through a vertigo of the imagination. The fire lit by his hand was communicated to his brain. A feeling of failure overwhelmed him. Could his works be inferior to those of the masters he admired?”