I must be in a procrastinating mood to spend time figuring out how to insert a picture in the header and then pick one out. But voilà! Instant makeover!
The header picture is a detail from Vincent's May 1888 "View of Arles with Irises" (I've cut the irises, which are at the bottom of the original painting). The view is from a field in the south of town; the towers of the church of Saint-Trophime are visible in the skyline. Vincent, in writing about this painting to Theo, said: "A little town surrounded by fields all covered with yellow and purple flowers, exactly--can't you see it?--like a Japanese dream" (LT487). He loved this painting enough to write about it to his friend Émile Bernard too, saying, "What a subject, eh! That sea of yellow with a band of violet irises, and in the background that coquettish little town of the pretty women!" (B5).
This painting today is in the Van Gogh Museum--the family never parted with it. It was out on loan last year when I went to Amsterdam, and I was delighted to find it in the "Van Gogh and Expressionism" exhibition in New York later in the summer. It's one of my favorites for its colors and composition.