23 de março de 2011

Vincent Van Gogh - Midday Rest after Millet

Midday Rest after Millet - 1890
Museé D'Orsay - Paris
After staying only 3 days in Paris, in May 1890, Vincent left the bustling, restless city for the rural quiet of Auvers-sur-Oise. One of the residents of this village, thirty kilometres northwest of Paris, was doctor Paul Gachet. A physician and amateur painter Gachet had been a friend of Montecelli and had assembled an art collection that included works by Paul Cézanne, Renoir and Pissaro. It was Pisarro who had suggested to Vincent's brother Theo to contact Gachet and ask him if he could take Vincent under his wing. Gachet did take an eye on Vincent encouraging him in his work. Three weeks after arriving in Auvers, Vincent wrote that he had found a true friend in Gachet. The artist liked Auvers, where he felt a tranquility à la Puvis de Chavannes. This gave him the sense of calm which he needed to produce many works in a a short time,  such as landscapes. Vincent wrote to his brother Theo:

"Auvers is very beautiful. There were many old thatched roofs, something that is becoming rare (...) It is entirely rural, distinct and picturesque. (...) I am almost sure that on these canvas I have articulated what I cannot express in words, namely how healthy and heartening I find the countryside".

The fields and countryside around Auvers became the subject of many of his paintings. He discribed them in his studies, in many of his letters to his brother Theo,  which can be explored here , in a fabulous site where you will be able to read many of the artist's thoughts, fears, anxieties and states of mind. You can read more about Van Gogh's letters on my blog Manifesto and about his life here.

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