Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, February 1890 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
43.5 cm x 27.2 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
The slender cypress is a characteristic feature of the landscape in the southern French region of Provence. Van Gogh stayed there in 1889-1890, in a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy (FR). He thought the cypresses were beautiful and compared their shape and proportions to those of an Egyptian obelisk.
He painted the trees with swirling brushstrokes in various shades of green and black, with an occasional touch of red for contrast. The colour of the trees was challenging – in a letter to his brother, Van Gogh called it 'that difficult shade of bottle green'.