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Vincent van Gogh, A Wheatfield, with Cypresses

Key facts
Full title A Wheatfield, with Cypresses
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Artist dates 1853 - 1890
Date made 1889
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 72.1 × 90.9 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, Courtauld Fund, 1923
Inventory number NG3861
Location Room 43
Art route(s) B
Collection Main Collection
A Wheatfield, with Cypresses
Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh painted several versions of A Wheatfield, with Cypresses during the summer of 1889, while he was a patient in the psychiatric hospital of Saint-Paul de Mausole, in the village of St-Rémy in the south of France. A first version, which he described as a study, was painted on site in late June 1889. The National Gallery’s painting, which was completed in September while Van Gogh was confined to his hospital room, is the finished version. He also made a smaller copy of it for his mother and sister.

The landscape includes typically Provençal motifs such as a golden wheat field, tall evergreen cypresses, an olive bush and a backdrop of the blue Alpilles mountains. Van Gogh wrote of painting outdoors during the summer mistral, the strong, cold wind of southern France, which here seems to animate the entire landscape. Everything is depicted with powerful rhythmic lines and swirling brushstrokes that convey Van Gogh’s sense of nature’s vitality.

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