Still life with Carafe and Lemons, 1887
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
This colorful still life has been executed rapidly, with only the thinnest layer of paint, under which the canvas is faintly visible. Van Gogh has rendered the reflections in the water-filled carafe with a virtuoso touch.
His interplay of complementary colors shows the extent to which he has by now mastered color theory. The yellow lemons cast purple shadows, and the green foreground creates a contrast with the red in the background. All these colors come together in the carafe. Van Gogh was so satisfied with the result that, unusually, he signed it.