The Rocks (with Oak)

The Rocks (with Oak)

"painted in broken tones like the Oak on the rock; that study which you said you had framed with the sower" Vincent To Theo van Gogh. Arles, on or about Tuesday, 11 September 1888
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Details:
Painting Date
5th of July 1888
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Description:

 

This work is created about a month before Gauguin arrives in Arles and Vincent is entranced with the views fro the Abbey at Montmajour which overlooks a large and fertile plain of a valley, the Crau.  About 30 kilometers distant and on the other side of the Crau, is Aix en Provence, birthplace of Cezanne and Zola.  He paints the abbey and various views from it including The Harvest.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston:
Gift of Audrey Jones Beck Arts of Europe
ABOUT

The Rocks depicts a specific area in the South of France called Montmajour, a rocky terrain located a few miles north of the city of Arles. Painting on site was a struggle for Vincent van Gogh, because the fierce, blustering winds that swept through this region whipped violently against his canvases.  Deep greens blended with lighter greens under a pink white and blue sky with rocks in the foreground matching in shade.

Van Gogh’s own creative energy leaps outward through his vigorous brushwork and the astonishing variety of strokes with which he laid down his unmixed colors. The forceful way he moves paint around on the canvas makes his work almost instantly recognizable. One senses the speed and vigor with which Van Gogh transcribed this scene to canvas, capturing the wild, almost electric presence of the site. The artist’s manic marking, combined with his broad exploitation of greens, blues, and yellows, makes for an exceeding lively image. The composition—strong and simplified, with the rocks stepping their way back to the craggy tree—grounds the potential chaos of colors and marks. Theo van Gogh, the artist’s brother, was so taken by this painting that he immediately framed it and hung it beside The Sower, one of Vincent’s undisputed masterpieces.

 

“painted in broken tones like the Oak on the rock; that study which you said you had framed with the sower”

Vincent To Theo van Gogh. Arles, on or about Tuesday, 11 September 1888

 

 

Painting, Oil on Canvas – 54 x 65 cm Size 15 figure
Arles: July – early month, 1888
The Museum of Fine Arts
Houston, Texas, United States of America, North America
F: 466, JH: 1489

Where Vincent Was:
Arles

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