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Green Wheat Field With Cypress

Champ de blé vert avec cyprès
Artist: Vincent van Gogh

Green Wheat Field with Cypress (French: Champ de blé vert avec cyprès) is an oil-on-canvas painting by Dutch Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh. It was completed in 1889, while van Gogh was voluntarily incarcerated at the asylum of St. Paul near Saint-Rémy in Provence. Several paintings of wheat fields with cypresses were made when van Gogh was able to leave the asylum grounds and explore the local landscape. Besides a fondness for cypresses, van Gogh had a special affinity with wheat fields; he depicted them dozens of times over the years; to Vincent they symbolized the cycle of life and death, and he found in them both solace and inspiration.

In mid-June 1889, Vincent wrote to his sister Wil that he had just completed the painting:

Then yet another [landscape] depicts a field of yellowing wheat surrounded by brambles and green bushes. At the end of the field a little pink house with a tall and dark cypress tree that stands out against the distant purplish and bluish hills, and against a forget-me-not blue sky streaked with pink whose pure tones contrast with the already heavy, scorched ears, whose tones are as warm as the crust of a loaf of bread.”

Although the composition is similar to several paintings by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, and Pissarro, Ronald Pickvance says that “compared to high Impressionist practice, color is used more locally and the brushstrokes are more organic and vigorously hatched.” However, “with no spatial distortions, no excessively heightened color tonalities, and no revolutionary symbolism, this landscape affirms its normality within an Impressionist convention. It neither manifests psychological tension nor projects a morbid vision.”


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