Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, December 1889
oil on canvas,
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
This painting shows the garden of the clinic in Saint-Rémy where Van Gogh spent a year. He worked there regularly when his illness meant he was not allowed to venture outside. Van Gogh wrote to his friend Bernard about this painting: ‘You’ll understand that this combination of red ochre, of green saddened with grey, of black lines that define the outlines, this gives rise a little to the feeling of anxiety from which some of my companions in misfortune often suffer, and which is called “seeing red”.’
Van Gogh had discovered that he could use colours to express a feeling. He intensified the emotional charge of his works by combining colours to create harmony on the one hand, or contrast on the other.