Road with Cypress and Star

Road with Cypress and Star

"I also have a cypress with a star from down there. A last try – a night sky with a moon without brightness, the slender crescent barely emerging from the opaque projected shadow of the earth – a star with exaggerated brightness, if you like, a soft brightness of pink and green in the ultramarine sky where clouds run. Below, a road bordered by tall yellow canes behind which are the blue low Alpilles, an old inn with orange lighted windows and a very tall cypress, very straight, very dark. On the road a yellow carriage harnessed to a white horse, and two late walkers. Very romantic if you like, but also ‘Provençal’ I think. I’ll probably make etchings of this one, and of other landscapes and subjects, reminiscences of Provence, then I’ll look forward to giving you an ensemble, a rather deliberate and studied summary." To Paul Gauguin, Auvers-sur-Oise, on or about Tuesday, 17 June 1890
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One of Vincent’s final paintings in Saint Remy de Provence.  Within days of painting the Road with Cypress and Star, he would move out of the asylum to live in the outskirts of Paris with Dr. Gachet in the riverside village of Auvers Sur Oise.  Painted around the same time as The Evening Walk, Vincent captures one of his favorite provence subjects – the Cypress tree, for one of the last times in his life.
“I also have a cypress with a star from down there.  A last try – a night sky with a moon without brightness, the slender crescent barely emerging from the opaque projected shadow of the earth – a star with exaggerated brightness, if you like, a soft brightness of pink and green in the ultramarine sky where clouds run. Below, a road bordered by tall yellow canes behind which are the blue low Alpilles, an old inn with orange lighted windows and a very tall cypress, very straight, very dark. On the road a yellow carriage harnessed to a white horse, and two late walkers. Very romantic if you like, but also ‘Provençal’ I think. I’ll probably make etchings of this one, and of other landscapes and subjects, reminiscences of Provence, then I’ll look forward to giving you an ensemble, a rather deliberate and studied summary.”

To Paul Gauguin, Auvers-sur-Oise, on or about Tuesday, 17 June 1890

“My dear sister,
For a few days now I would have liked to reply to your kind letter, which I received while still in St-Rémy. Things weren’t working out there any more, and I was becoming rather iller through the treatment.  In Paris it was a great joy for me to see Theo again and to meet Jo and the little one. Jo made an excellent impression upon me, she’s charming and very simple and good. Yes it really seems to me to be going as well as possible for the moment.  And as for myself, for the moment I still fear the noise and the bustle of Paris and I left immediately for the country – to an old village.  Here there are roofs of mossy thatch which are superb, and of which I’ll certainly do something.  Then I think that the doctor to whom I’ve been recommended1 will absolutely let me be as if nothing were wrong.  In the last few days at St-Rémy I worked in a frenzy. Big bouquets of flowers, violet irises, big bouquets of roses. Landscapes. It was odd to see all my canvases from the beginning again, from the time I left.  But I would very much have liked you to have seen the olive groves that I’ve brought with me now, with yellow, pink, blue skies, quite different, I think that these are canvases that haven’t yet been painted like this. Up to now the others always painted them in grey.  I was very pleased to see the exhibition at the Champ de Mars, where there are many things I like a lot.”

To Willemien van Gogh. Auvers-sur-Oise, on or about Wednesday, 21 May 1890

Painting, Oil on Canvas – 92 x 73 cm – Size 30 Figure
Saint-Rémy: May 12-15, 1890
Kröller-Müller Museum
Otterlo, The Netherlands, Europe
F: 683, JH: 1982

Where Vincent Was:
Saint Remy

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