Thursday, 26 June 2008

Vineyards and Art

Van Gogh painted 3 vineyards in his lifetime – all in France and one of the most famous is the Red Vineyards at Arles. It was painted in 1888 and it was the only painting he ever sold. It depicts grape harvesters at work near Arles, in Provence, where he lived for 15 months. Wine was certainly an important part of Van Gogh's life, fueling his prodigious work rate. He wrote:

"Every day I take the remedy that the incomparable Dickens prescribes against suicide. It consists of a glass of wine, a piece of bread with cheese, and a pipe of tobacco”

During his stay in Arles, he painted more than 200 canvases, as well as producing 100 drawings and writing 200 letters.

Van Gogh wrote in a letter to his brother that he had painted his vineyard red to reflect the red wine:

"a red vineyard, all red like red wine. In the distance it turned to yellow and then a green sky with the sun, the earth after the rain violet, sparkling here and there where it caught the reflection of the setting sun."

The Red Vineyard is now owned by the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

This wasn't the first vineyard painting Van Gogh had painted – two months earlier he had painted The Green Vineyard, a daytime rather than evening representation of the same subject. The Green Vineyard is owned by the Kröller Müller Museum in the Netherlands.

The last painting of a vineyard was completed in June 1890 and in Vineyard With a View of Auvers. Van Gogh had traveled to Auvers-sur Oise, near Paris, after becoming ill. Strangely most people see this painting as vibrant and joyful of the 3 vineyard paintings that he did. Van Gogh died a month after painting it.

Images Courtesy of

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