Charles Laval (1861 - 1894), Martinique, 1887-1888
oil on canvas,
59.7 cm x 73.1 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
A woman enters the scene from stage left, as it were. The long, slender trunks of the trees on each side of the foreground function like the side-pieces of a theatre set. This is an old trick for creating an illusion of depth. In this case, however, the extreme symmetry makes the effect slightly disconcerting.
Charles Laval painted this landscape on the Caribbean island of Martinique. He travelled there with his friend Paul Gauguin in 1887. Their style was then so similar that for a long time this painting was attributed to Gauguin.