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Chapter 138 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

After about an hour's drive, I arrived in the village.

I got off at the station and took out my phone.

"The name of the last inn he stayed at... Ah, it's Auberge Ravoux."

I turned on Google Maps and started walking.

I passed by the old train to Auschwitz, now painted yellow, spaces displaying old books including ancient texts, and even the statue of Van Gogh near the town hall.

Van Gogh, with his painting equipment, looked lean.

Seeing his statue made me feel the weight and pain of his life.

After a long look at the statue, I turned back towards the inn.

Although it's called a hotel, I had already checked online that it no longer operates as a hotel, so there wouldn't be any inconvenience.

Currently, the first floor of Auberge Ravoux operates as a restaurant, and the room where Van Gogh stayed on the third floor is open to the public. I wonder what the room where he spent his last 70 days looked like.

I remember watching a documentary about the famous writer Hemingway, who often stayed at a hotel for his writing.

I was surprised to see that the room where such a renowned writer worked was quite small and modest.

Even a famous writer had worked in such a small room. I wondered what Van Gogh's room was like.

Arriving at my destination, following Google Maps, I looked up at the modest three-story building with a slightly absurd feeling.

"Is this supposed to be accommodation?"

Outside the first floor, there's wine left by the owner, hoping for Van Gogh's return, placed on an empty table.

I heard the owner of the inn waits for Van Gogh, pouring new wine every day.

But, well, the building changed owners over thirty times, so what relation does it have with Van Gogh's time? It's just an expression of respect.

The inn, interestingly, has its entrance not on the road side but around the back. Entering the first floor, I saw a quiet restaurant.

It's off-season for travelers, being the end of autumn.

The staff asked me in fluent English, "Welcome, how many are you?"

"Just me."

"There are no other guests right now. You can sit wherever you like."

Warm orange lighting.

A small restaurant filled with the scent of old furniture tickles my nose.

I looked around the restaurant, imagining Van Gogh here in 1890, and felt overwhelmed with emotion.


The employee, anticipating my question, points to a two-seater table farthest from the window and tucked in the corner.

"That's where Van Gogh used to sit. But you can't sit there. It's always reserved for him."


Disappointed that I can't sit there, I still understand their sentiment. I also feel grateful to those who show such extreme respect for an artist I admire.

"Thank you."

"I'll be back to take your order shortly."

I sat down at the table right next to the one where Van Gogh used to sit.

Farthest from the window, in the deepest corner.

What was he thinking while sitting there? Why did he choose such a secluded spot instead of a warm and pleasant seat closer to the window?

I was staring blankly at the seat he used to occupy when the employee returned to take my order, pulling me out of my thoughts.

"Oh, I got distracted and didn't look at the menu. Do you have any recommendations?"

"The mushroom cream soup and the duck dish are delicious."

"Alright, I'll have those, please."

"Would you like some wine?"

"Could I have just a glass?"

"Of course. Red wine goes well with duck. Our house wine is quite good."

"Yes, that sounds good."

"Alright. While your meal is being prepared, would you like to take a look around the third floor?"

"The third floor?"

"Yes, the room where Van Gogh stayed is open to the public."

"Oh, that would be great. Thank you."

"Please use the stairs over there."

"Thank you."

I followed the employee's directions and climbed the stairs.

The building, over a century old, had an ancient feel to it. The walls of the stairs were cracked and the safety bars, painted over several times, looked very worn.

But the thought that these were the stairs Van Gogh climbed filled me with excitement.

With each step, I thought of him.

With each step, I remembered him.

With each step, I paid tribute to him.

When I finally reached the third floor, my excitement peaked.

"Van Gogh painted 70 pictures in 70 days in this room."

It's an astonishing feat. For a painter who works in oils, creating one painting a day is not easy.

But Van Gogh's greatness doesn't end there.

"The painter who left so many masterpieces behind only painted for 10 years."

That's a fact.

Van Gogh started painting at 27 and died at 37.

Unlike other painters who grew up as artists, his life was different.

Just 10 years. He spent those 10 years as if they were 100, before leaving the world.

The tragic artist who sold only one painting in his lifetime.

What would the place where he burned his last spark of life look like?

With a heart full of anticipation, I followed the signs down the hallway and hesitated at the door to Van Gogh's room.

The door was open.

Seeing the room fully exposed, I remembered Irina's words.

"It will break your heart to go there."

At that moment, I understood.

Why she had said that in passing.

The room where Van Gogh spent the last 70 days of his impoverished life.

The room was tiny, hardly two square meters.

It was a miserably shabby room, completely at odds with the name of the century's master, Van Gogh.

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