Friday, June 20, 2008

Stormy Weather (Part Two)


As promised, a second storm-themed painting from Vincent's oeuvre, this one from the end of his career, indeed, the end of his life. "Wheatfield under Thunderclouds," also known as "Wheatfield under Clouded Sky" (among other titles), was likely painted between July 6 and July 10, 1890, only a few weeks before Vincent's death in Auvers-sur-Oise. You can see the difference in color scheme between this painting and "View of the Sea at Scheveningen" that I posted earlier in the week, the latter influenced by the Hague School and Vincent's exposure to Dutch art generally, this painting showing the vibrant colors Vincent adopted later in his career (and for which he's most famous). "Wheatfield under Thunderclouds" shows a tendency toward abstraction, too, and makes admirable use of the so-called "double-square" (50 x 100 cm) format, which Vincent used for the first time while in Auvers. This is by no means VIncent's first use of the wheatfield motif: wheatfields and activities associated with wheatfields (sowing, reaping) attracted him from the very beginning of his artistic career and followed him to the very end. For Vincent, the wheatfields were a metaphor for the cycles of life and death, and the motif exemplifies the latent spirituality present in many (if not most) of van Gogh's paintings.

If you visit Auvers-sur-Oise today (I didn't forget I was going to do some Auvers-themed posts too), you can wander the wheatfields Vincent painted, although it's impossible to pinpoint the spot in this exact painting. Up on the plateau above the town, the fields stretch for miles under the sky, and it's easy to feel the sense of infinity Vincent tried to capture in this picture. The painting itself is in the Van Gogh Museum, and although one can say this about every van Gogh painting, the textures and colors are so much more vibrant in person than they are in a photograph.

6 comments:

Catherine Delors said...

These posts are beautiful, Sheramy! I just wish you would put up bigger pictures. These are a tease...

Sheramy said...

Hi Catherine--If you click on the picture, most show up larger in the separate screen. I have a dial-up connection at home (archaic, I know) and so avoid the larger pictures in the main blogpost because of the time it takes for them to load.

Glad you are enjoying!

Catherine Delors said...

Thank you, it works. My blogging software doesn't work that way: I have to upload pictures and then downsize them to fit my posts.
Yes, I love art and art history, and envy you. You inspire me to do more 18th century art posts for my own blog.

Sheramy said...

Glad it worked, Catherine. I do a lot of the posting on my Mac with Safari, and I'm never quite sure whether everyone sees what I see.

I enjoy your blog as much as you enjoy mine! I've really liked the Footsteps of Gabrielle posts. They make me want to return to Versailles.

Gina said...

Love your work. You might be interested in my new animation - I am a computer animator and I just simulated Gogh's Starry Night. Hope you like it. You can get there through my blog here: http://maxanimation.blogspot.com/2008/06/starry-night.html
or directly to my webpage here:
http://www.nanogirl.com/personal/starrynight.html I look forward to your thoughts!

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