The date of 1890 on this painting by Vincent Van Gogh gives us a clue as to the style in which the artist painted the canvas. It is a nervous, agitated, repetitive brushstroke, typical of his last creative and vital period. But at the same time, it is a moment of certain happiness and hence its luminous, radiant and scarce colors, only yellow and green, all of them applied with undulating rhythms.
Van Gogh's Les Vessenots at Auvers
And it must not be forgotten that he painted this painting in the spring of 1890 when he decided to settle in Auvers-sur-Oise, near the Doctor Gachet, the doctor and collector who did so much for him, and who supported other artists of the time, from Pissarro and Daubignyto Cézanne. That was his last refuge after spending time in the Saint Remy hospital. And the truth is that leaving that institution was initially something very positive for his spirit and his work. In fact, this period was very active for Van Gogh. He made almost a painting a day. And some of those canvases were several portraits that he made of Paul Ferdinand Gachet himself, in addition to landscape views of the Les Vessenots area where he lived, as we can see in this painting that is now part from the collection of the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid but which was originally owned by the aforementioned Doctor Gachet.
This is a view in which the wheat fields with the farmhouses occupy almost the entire canvas, since the horizon is extraordinarily high. The compositional scheme is repeated in several landscape works from this period, and it is that going out to nature to paint fascinated him, due to the sensation of freedom it provided him, although at the same time it caused him a painful loneliness and nostalgia.
Those feelings and others were poured out Van Gogh in his views. It is true that he painted from life, but he captured the most personal vision of himself, which the framing suggested. Sometimes they are more peaceful images, like this one. Others are more nervous, something that manifests itself in its typical waves and eddies in the branches of the trees or in the clouds of the sky. And other times everything was much more claustrophobic and tormented, dominating the strongest and darkest colors, with very aggressive and nervous brushstrokes. And it is that we must not forget that these were the last weeks of his life, and at the beginning of that summer of 1890 the deep depression in which he had submerged ended up causing him the definitive and unfortunate suicide.