Vincent started painting at a frantic pace, maybe sensing the steady, unstoppable approach of the void. He perfected his own style of quick, short brushstrokes, and with an almost machine-like speed, was able to produce up to three masterpieces a day.
Vincent found lodgings in the Yellow House. Although he had found the perfect setting for his art and psyche, he felt isolated from people – the locals treated his art with indifference. He determined that Arles would be the perfect haven for artists, and set about writing to artists he admired to join him.
The only artist enticed by Vincent’s proposal was Paul Gauguin. In October of 1888, Gauguin joined Vincent in Arles. They shared a room and devoted themselves to painting. They flourished together, but soon cracks started to appear in their friendship. They had fundamental differences in opinion when it came to the goal of art, and the lack of privacy added pressure on their differences. Vincent also started drinking copious amounts of absinthe again, which would lead to intense psychotic episodes. Things came to a head in December 1888, when after a heated argument, Gauguin left to spend the night at a brothel. Upon his return the next morning, he found a bloody scene in their shared room – Vincent had severed a part of his ear. Gaugain alerted authorities and departed without saying goodbye to Vincent. The two would never see each other again.