The Langlois Bridge at Arles with Road Alongside the Canal

The Langlois Bridge at Arles with Road Alongside the Canal

"As the bad weather prevented me from working on the spot, I completely worked this study to death trying to finish it at home. However, I started the same subject again immediately afterwards on another canvas, but as the weather was quite different, in a grey palette and without figures."
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Details:
Painting Date
26th of March 1888
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Description:
In this work, the Van Gogh Museum canvas of the Langlois Bridge, Vincent softens his palette and creates a more harmonious view of the drawbridge and the path siding the Arles-Bouc canal it crosses.  By selecting Compare Two, you can view the paintings alongside one another and see how Vincent has softened the tones of color and changed combinations.
There are three figures in the dark dress of the Arlesienne women on the time on the bridge at left center but otherwise, all other figures have been omitted when compared with the first rendition.  Instead of a brilliant blue sky, the day has a flat gray feel to it and the overall tone of the painting is much cooler.  There is less detail in the foreground but Vincent has added farmhouses and buildings of the nearby town of Arles (the tower of Saint Tropheme is distant at the center of the bridge) in the background replacing the crude cypresses in the first canvas.
This is Vincent’s third effort at capturing the feel of the Langlois Bridge.  He is pleased with his initial effort, but feels he has ruined his second attempt by overworking it and most of it is lost, leaving only a canvas fragment of two lovers walking along the canal side path.  Included as a Related Image, a repetition of the scene created for his brother a few weeks later, Vincent will change the color combinations again and create a different feel of an afternoon in the Spring at the Langlois Bridge under a Provence sun.
The painting was kept by the family after Vincent and Theo’s death.  It stayed with Joanna, Theo’s widow and young Vincent’s father and the Van Gogh family ever since.  It was loaned out for exhibition over 20 times before being a favorite at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam where you can see it today.
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Vincent writes his brother:
“Had some trouble with the sunset with figures and a bridge that I was talking to Bernard about.  As the bad weather prevented me from working on the spot, I completely worked this study to death trying to finish it at home.
However, I started the same subject again immediately afterwards on another canvas, but as the weather was quite different, in a grey palette and without figures.”

To Theo. Arles, on or about Sunday, 25 March 1888

 

 

Painting, Oil on Canvas
Arles: March 26, 1888
Van Gogh Museum
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe
F: 400, JH: 1371

Where Vincent Was:
Arles

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