Cottages: Reminiscence of the North

Cottages: Reminiscence of the North

"And while my illness was at its worst, I still painted, among other things a reminiscence of Brabant, cottages with mossy roofs and beech hedges on an autumn evening with a stormy sky, the sun setting red in reddish clouds." To Anna van Gogh-Carbentus and Willemien van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Tuesday, 29 April 1890
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Details:
Painting Date
30th of March 1889
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Description:

Probably painted during a two month long attack Vincent experiences at St Paul’s Asylum in Saint Remy de Provence.  Vincent has just recovered enough to write after his longest attack to date, beginning in late February of 1890 and lasting over two months – covering nearly all of March and April of 1890.  Excerpts from this, his first letter written where he felt in control of his faculties are below:

“And while my illness was at its worst, I still painted, among other things a reminiscence of Brabant, cottages with mossy roofs and beech hedges on an autumn evening with a stormy sky, the sun setting red in reddish clouds.”

To Anna van Gogh-Carbentus and Willemien van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Tuesday, 29 April 1890

 

I would have liked to redo them with a little less impasto, but I don’t have the time.
Anyway, they must be washed again several times in cold water, then a strong varnish when the impasto is dry right through, then the blacks won’t get dirty when the oil has fully evaporated. Now I would necessarily need colours, part of which you could well get from Tanguy’s if he’s hard up, or if that would please him. But of course he mustn’t be dearer than the other.
 
Here’s the list of colours I would need:

Large
tubes.
12 zinc white, 3 cobalt, 5 Veronese green
1 ordinary lake
2 emerald green, 4 chrome 1, 2 chrome 2
1 orange lead, 2 ultramarine

Then (but from Tasset’s) 2 geranium lake, medium-sized tubes.  You would do me a service by sending me at least half of it at once, at once, for I’ve lost too much time.  Then I would need 6 brushes,  6 fitch brushes around these sizes, and 7 metres of canvas, or even 10.

What can I tell you of these two last months, things aren’t going well at all, I’m more sad and bored than I could tell you, and I no longer know what point I’m at.  As the order for colours is a little large, let me wait for half if that suits you better.  While I was ill I nevertheless still did a few small canvases from memory which you’ll see later, reminiscences of the north, and now I’ve just finished a sunlit corner of a meadow which I think is fairly vigorous.

To Theo. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Tuesday, 29 April 1890

 

Painting, Oil on Canvas – 45.5 x 43 cm Size 8 Carre’
Saint-Rémy, France: March – April, 1890
Private collection
F: 673, JH: 1919

Where Vincent Was:
Saint Remy

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