Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890): A Wheatfield, with

Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890): A Wheatfield, with

1/20/2021, 3:52:39 PM
Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890): A Wheatfield, with Cypresses, 1889, Oil on canvas, 72.1 × 90.9 cm, National Gallery, London Living in the asylum in Saint-Rémy, van Gogh repeatedly turned his attention to the no-man's-land between the wide world out there and his own confined world. It was now that he acquired his fondness for what was characteristically Mediterranean in the region: the cypress trees, the olive groves and the sparse vegetation on the hills. This landscape was painted in September 1889. It is one of three almost identical versions of the  composition. Another painting of the cypresses (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art) was painted - probably painted directly in front of the subject - earlier in July 1889. The work is build up in great bands that traverse the entire space. The tall dark cypress tress at one side offer a powerful contrast to the prevailing horizontals, which they resemble in form. The oppositions of warm and cool, the proportioning of parts, the relative height of sky and earth on the two sides, the horizontal intervals which we can measure on the silhouette of the distant mountain, twice broken by trees - all these are perfectly legible and well balanced. Here Van Gogh's perception of nature and his intensity of feeling are equally pronounced. The glowing wheat field, the olive trees of subtle gray in which all the colours of the picture seem to be mingled, the shaggy wavering cypresses, and the turbulent mountains have been wonderfully observed, and the light that fills this space has a vivid actuality for our eyes.

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