Arles, July 1888 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
pencil, pen and reed pen and brush and ink, on paper,
49.1 cm x 61.0 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Van Gogh drew this jagged rock with pine trees using a reed pen – a drawing tool that lent itself to supple and vigorous lines. He developed his own drawing style with it, consisting of stipples and stripes in all sizes, thicknesses and directions.
Van Gogh made this drawing on the hill of Montmajour, near Arles. His fascination with the landscape around the hill inspired a series of pen drawings, which form a high point in his oeuvre. He accepted the fierce mistral wind and the many mosquitoes as the price he had to pay. 'If a view makes one forget those little vexations, there must be something in it,' he wrote to his brother Theo.