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The Cover
May 17, 2000


Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2000;283(19):2496. doi:10.1001/jama.283.19.2496

When Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) arrived at the hospital in St Rémy in May 1889, the irises were blooming, and he painted them (JAMA cover, August 16, 1985). Now, almost exactly a year later, as he was preparing to leave St Rémy, the irises were blooming again. Again, he painted them, "two canvases representing big bundles of violet irises, one lot against a pink background," the other "against a startling citron background," as he wrote to his brother Theo while he was awaiting discharge. He was also doing roses, "a canvas of roses with a light green background." A day or two later, in what would be his last letter to Theo from St Rémy, he describes "another canvas of pink roses against a yellow-green background in a green vase," which he had just finished. All in all, he did four flower pieces in less than a week. He was, he said, working with a "calm and steady enthusiasm." His last attack of illness had occurred in February and had disappeared "like a thunderstorm."