Montmartre: Quarry, the Mills – (laborer only)

Montmartre: Quarry, the Mills – (laborer only)

Painting Date
14th of August 2014
Detailed Image Link

A view from the quarry in montmartre vincent painted and sketched several times. The view is from the mills where the gypsum was mined for Sacre Couer and other building needs of Paris.  After the cathedral is completed, the quarry is turned into a cemetery for many unknown victims of the revolution, and finally, the resting place of many artists who lived in Montmartre.

Vincent fills nearly half of his canvas with a deep green hillside below the mill and above the quarry.  The sky is a cloudy blue with white and canvas transitioning across the top fourth of the depiction with the whites and khakis repeated in the quarry at foreground.  One of Vincent’s beloved and faceless peasant workers is placed at bottom left center with his tool slung over his shoulder.   From June 1886 Vincent and Theo lived in the Parisian suburb of Montmartre, once the border between the city and the surrounding countryside. Van Gogh painted numerous views of the area. Most often – as here – he was attracted by the disappearing rural aspects of the neighborhood: the fields, pastures, farmhouses and windmills. The quarry in the foreground, however, reveals the encroachment of the city.

The diagonal lines of the fences and clouds draw the viewer’s eye to the middle of the composition, towards the large windmill just to the right of center. This helped increase the sense of depth in the picture.


Painting, Oil on Canvas
Paris: Autumn, 1886
Van Gogh Museum
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe
F: 229, JH: 1176

Where Vincent Was:

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