Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Nuenen, March 1884
pencil, pen and ink, watercolour, on paper,
39.5 cm x 54.2 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Van Gogh loved pollard trees with their gnarled trunks. They feature prominently in many of his paintings and drawings, including this one. In a letter to his brother Theo, he compared a row of pollard trees to a 'procession of orphan men'. What he meant was that nature had a soul of its own.
This work is part of a series of seven pen and ink drawings of Brabant landscapes from 1884. The compositions are compelling. The way he drew it, with a great deal of hatching, shows his individual style. The drawings form a high point of Van Gogh's work in the Netherlands.