Green wheat field with cypress, 1889, Van Gogh

Green wheat field with cypress, 1889, Van Gogh
Green wheat field with cypress, 1889, Van Gogh - 1

  • Posted by Vincent Van Gogh
  • Museum: National Gallery in Prague
  • Year: 1889

Description of the picture :

Green wheat field with cypress – Van Gogh. 1889. Oil on canvas. 73.5×92.5
   Van Gogh’s painting “Green Wheat Field with Cypress” was written during his stay at St. Paul’s Hospital for the Mentally Ill in Saint Remy, where he stayed for almost a year. In early June 1889, Dr. Peyron allowed the artist to go beyond the fence of the park and write in the vicinity of the Saint Paul Monastery. Van Gogh, yearning for “freaking art,” began to depict picturesque landscapes: olive groves, cypresses sown with wheat fields. He especially liked the cypress trees, ascending their crowns to heaven, similar to the languages of the black wriggling flame. Van Gogh began almost always to introduce cypress into the image of the southern nature, saying that they are “the most characteristic feature of the Provencal landscape.”. However, the painter’s creative researchers explain this addiction by the fact that these trees in the Mediterranean have long been a sign of grief and death. The paintings of 1888-1889 are endowed with special symbols of images associated with the specific worldview of Van Gogh during this period.

   The artist divides the space of his paintings into two opposing and interacting worlds – “northern” and “southern”, and the interpretation of objects and flowers begins to obey this division. The south corresponds to night, top (heaven), death, cypress, black, dark blue and bright yellow tone. North – day, bottom (ground), life, fields, green and blue colors. Most of these elements are present in the picture “Green wheat field with cypress”, for example, you can see how dark quyrene silhouette rises in the middle of a field swaying from the wind. Ascending from the earth, he, like an ancient impassive monument, connects the trembling ocean of green, slightly touched by gold ears with a pre-threatening stern sky. The new semantic load changes the artist’s picturesque manner. Rejecting the classic lessons learned in Arles, Van Gogh returns to expressiveity characteristic of his early work. The forms in the picture become underlined by dramatic, embraced by a single movement, they are subject to intense rhythm.