Field with Flowers near Arles, 1888

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

  • Oil on Canvas, 54 X 65 cm
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
  • F 409

In February 1888 Van Gogh left Paris for the town of Arles in Provence. The French capital had exhausted him, both mentally and physically, and he yearned for the quiet life of the countryside. In Provence he hoped to find something of the light and atmosphere that so fascinated him in Japanese prints. Moreover, he thought of establishing an artists’ colony in the south, where he and his friends could live and work.

More information about "Field with Flowers near Arles"

Dreams of Japan

Van Gogh found the “Japanese atmosphere” he had been seeking in the blooming orchards and sun-drenched landscapes of Arles, and captured it in works like the Field with Flowers near Arles. On May 12th, he sent his brother Theo a colorful description of this new painting: “[…] a vast field of bright yellow buttercups, a ditch full of irises with green leaves and purple flowers, in the background a town, a few greyish willows, a strip of blue sky. […] A little town surrounded by a field of yellow and purple flowers – you know, it’s just like a Japanese dream.” The irises of his dream were to become the subject of two paintings executed in Saint-Rémy.

Exploring Provence

Van Gogh loved Provence and he depicted many of its locations in his work: the famous Langlois bridge near Arles, for example. He also traveled to the fishing village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the Mediterranean, where he painted a seascape, the beach with fishing boats, and executed a number of drawings.

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