When Van Gogh Spoke for the Trees

an oil painting of olive trees with yellow sky
Olive Trees With Yellow Sky and Sun, oil on canvas, 1889. Van Gogh painted several of his most famous works while at the asylum, including his Iris series and The Starry Night.

In May of 1889, in the depths of a mental health crisis, Vincent van Gogh retreated to an asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, in southern France. Here, the artist, who would die by suicide the next year, sought solace in painting. He captured the view through his bedroom window, studied irises in the hospital garden and—when allowed outside the asylum gates—set up his easel in the ancient olive groves that surrounded the village. “There are very beautiful fields of olive trees here, which are grey and silvery in leaf,” he wrote to his mother. Van Gogh made the trees the subject of 15 paintings, several of which are on view next month at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. “He was still experimenting—these were important compositions for him,” says Katie Luber, the museum’s director, noting the sculptural quality of the painter’s brush strokes and his color combinations. “I don’t know if I would say that he found peace in the olive groves,” she says. “But he found something.”

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oil painting of an olive grove
Olive Grove, oil on canvas, June 1889. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
oil painting of an olive grove
Olive Grove, oil on canvas, November-December 1889. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Artikel ini diambil dari https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/van-gogh-trees-exhibition-180980048/

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