Undergrowth, 1889

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

  • Oil on Canvas, 73 X 92.5 cm
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
    (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)
  • F 746

When a patient at Saint-Rémy, Van Gogh made many paintings of the shady, overgrown hospital garden. To Theo, he wrote this on his life in the hospital: ‘seeing as life takes place mainly in the garden, it is not so very sad.’ With short brushstrokes that create a blurred effect, he painted the undergrowth that grew beneath the twisted tree trunks there.

Broken by the dapples of light, woodland shade was a theme that had often occupied Van Gogh. When he had worked in the Parisian region two years earlier he had also painted a series of such scenes.

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