Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Arles, June 1888
oil on canvas,
54 cm x 65 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
'I've had a week of concentrated hard work in the wheatfields right out in the sun,' Vincent wrote to his brother Theo. He was busy experimenting with brushwork and colour – for example, in this painting. Here he juxtaposes the golden yellow of the ripe wheat with a swirl of many different colours for the plants in the foreground. The horizon is high, so the field takes up almost the entire painting.
Van Gogh painted this subject many times that summer. He wrote to his friend Émile Bernard, 'Old gold yellow landscapes — done quick quick quick and in a hurry, like the reaper who is silent under the blazing sun, concentrating on getting the job done.'