The Novel Reader

The Novel Reader

"Then a Woman reading a novel in a library like the Lecture Française. A completely green woman. Gauguin gives me courage to imagine, and the things of the imagination do indeed take on a more mysterious character." To Theo. Arles, Sunday, 11 or Monday, 12 November 1888
Details:
Painting Date
11th of November 1888
Detailed Image Links
Description:
“Then a Woman reading a novel in a library like the Lecture Française. A completely green woman. Gauguin gives me courage to imagine, and the things of the imagination do indeed take on a more mysterious character.”

To Theo. Arles, Sunday, 11 or Monday, 12 November 1888

Gauguin has arrived and been living with Vincent for almost three weeks at this point.

“I’ve now also painted a woman reading a novel. Abundant very black hair, a green bodice, sleeves the colour of wine lees, the skirt black, the background completely yellow, library shelves with books.”

To Willemien van Gogh. Arles, on or about Monday, 12 November 1888

A year later as he is contemplating olive trees in St. Remy:

“When Gauguin was in Arles, I once or twice allowed myself to be led into abstraction, as you know, in a woman rocking a cradle, a dark woman reading novels in a yellow library, and at that time abstraction seemed an attractive route to me. But that’s enchanted ground,14 — my good fellow — and one soon finds oneself up against a wall. I’m not saying that one may not take the risk after a whole manly life of searching, of fighting hand-to-hand with reality, but as far as I’m concerned I don’t want to rack my brains over that sort of thing. And the whole year, have fiddled around from life, hardly thinking of Impressionism or of this or that.”

To Emile Bernard. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, on or about Tuesday, 26 November 1889

 

Painting, Oil on Canvas – 73 x 92 cm Size 30 Figure
Arles: November 11, 1888
Private collection
F: 497, JH: 1632

Where Vincent Was:
Arles

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