Analysis Of Van Gogh’s “Crows Over The Analysis Of Van Gogh’s “Crows Over The W Vincent van Gogh/ Crows Over a Wheatfield (1853-1890) Vincent walked into the room. His eyes were bloodshot. He stood dazed. Doctor Gachet stopped sipping his drink. He happened to look into a mirror over Vincent’s shoulder and saw that there was a revolver behind his back.
The many folds on the doctor’s face became tense. “Mon Ami,’ he stammered. Vincent gazed at him, laughed awkwardly, and then marched out. As soon as he reached his room he fired a bullet into the pit of his stomach.
Doctor Gachet found him lying unconscious in a pool of blood. When he recovered consciousness, Vincent immediately asked for his brother, Theo, and his pipe. When his brother finally arrived, he and Vincent talked deeply. Vincent reflected on the miseries he was allotted in life. Theo answered, “Yes, Vincent, you have had more than your share of misery, and your misery has become the happiness of your pictures.
Your pictures are warm embraces. The love in your heart, for all people, is tremendous. When your love shall cease to beat within your bosom, it will throb in your pictures.’ Vincent looked at his brother in amazement. How well he had said it all! As the life began to leave him, he leaned to his brother.
Whispering in his native Dutch, “Zoo seen kan gaan’– “I want to go home’ (Meier 223-240).
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— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — – It was in the early hours of the morning of the 29 th of July, 1890 that Vincent van Gogh passed on. Having suffered from Meniere’s disease, tending to be very emotional and dramatic, and painting in a new style, many thought him odd. Only many years later do we find it is all the opposite. Van Gogh’s painting meant everything to him. To rejuvenate himself he would turn to the brush.
From what he saw in the real world he would absorb all the images and color, digest it internally and funnel it through an emotional filter. In van Gogh’s painting of a landscape, Crows Over The Wheatfield, we see all the characteristic elements of van Gogh. In this painting we can see that Vincent’s work was not the production of a crazed man but of genius given to carefully calculating the outlay and systematically dividing his subject matter mathematically. In this paper we will research the perspective and organization, color and symbols, and van Gogh’s role in the late 19 th century society, through his Crows Over The Wheatfield. Writing of this picture shortly before his suicide, van Gogh conveyed something of its tragic mood. “Returning there, I set to work.
The brush almost fell from my hands… I had not difficulty in expressing sadness and extreme solitude’ (Armstrong 58).
The format of the canvas is matched by the vista itself, a field opening out from the foreground by way of three diverging paths. It is quite the disquieting situation for the spectator, who is held in doubt before the great horizon and cannot reach it on any of the roads before him. These roads end blindly in the field or run out of the picture. The familiar perspective of the open field is now inverted; the lines converge towards the foreground from the horizon, as if space had suddenly lost its focus and all things turned aggressively upon the beholder, there is no vanishing point.
The as seen in the diagram at right. There is no linear perspective, the only consolation the painter gives to the viewer is the horizontal line in the middle of the painting separating the sky from the ground. blue sky and the yellow fields pull away from each other with disturbing violence; across their boundary, a flock of black crows advance steadily toward the foreground. In regards to symmetry, the painting is equally heavy. You have the same amount of field on both sides, as you do have the same mass of the heavens and earthly colors.
Vincent van Gogh Van Goghs early period includes all his work from 1879 through 1885. Between August 1879 and November 1885, he worked in Etten, The Hague where he received some instruction from his cousin, Anton Mauve and in Nuenen, among other places. In 1886, Vincent Van Gogh left his home in Holland and traveled to Paris. There he found a world and way of living that was like nowhere else. ...
In this perspective disarray, we discover a powerful counter-action of van Gogh. As a man in psychological distress, van Gogh, in the extremity of anguish, creates an arithmetical order to resist disintegration. He makes an intense effort to control and organize. He seems to be counting, using mathematical means to give harmony and balance in the overall work. Look at the work and count along: One is the unique blue of the sky– giving unity, breadth, the ultimate resolution; two, the complementary yellow of the divided, unstable masses of growing wheat; three, the red of the diverging roads which lead nowhere; four, the complementary green of the untrodden grass of these roads; and as the n of the series there is the endless progression of the zigzag crows, the figures of fate that come from the far horizon. These too are heading without specific goal.
Some fly toward the spectator, some to the left, and a few away. The balance in this mathematical harmony comes from a physical representation of a pyramid, as outlined on the left. You can count down the pyramid: 1-Sky, 2-Fields of wheat, 3-Roads, 4-Strips of vegetation. Each one builds on one another. Vincent’s choice of color also gives the painting tremendous intensity. Using oil as the medium of the painting, van Gogh utilized a particular painting style commonly called “gauche’ where he would squeeze the tube of paint directly onto the canvas and work up the paint to the point that you can see the ridges, giving the painting depth and emotion.
This technique showed through the expressive style that was soon to be known as Expressionism. Vincent expressed his emotions through his painting. He filtered the world through an emotional lense, projecting the image upon the canvas. Using this technique, he represents his subject matter as he felt about it, leaning toward abstraction but retaining a good amount of realism. In Crows Over The Wheatfield we may see the selection of color and objects as representative of the thoughts, feelings and aspirations of van Gogh. In this painting we find that every color that is next to each other are complimentary.
Vincent van Gogh made “The Peasant Woman Cooking by a Fireplace” just after he completed “The Potato Eaters.” “Peasant Woman Cooking by a Fireplace” and the “Potato Peeler” both represent women working in the Nuenen period, spring 1885. Even though one of the paintings is a self-portrait and the other one shows a peasant women cooking, both paintings show working humble women engrossed in their ...
The red of the road against the green of the grass. The bright yellow against the blue-purple (magenta hue) of the sky and the white of the clouds caught between the black of the crows and brooding, shadowy clouds that loom above this gooey landscape. At the same time, elemental contrasts become the essential postures in a sense of irony. By echoes of color, the separated parts of the landscape are united.
The two green-white clouds are reflections, however dimmed, of the green of the roads. In the blue of the sky is a vague pulsation of dark and light that resumes the great unrest of the ground below. There may be deep symbolism in the objects he has chosen for the subject matter. The hanging gloom of the sky may very well indicate the gloom that hung over Vincent the last week of his life.
Having arrived to the split in the road of life, he chooses to follow the road through the wheatfield. The continuing road to the right represents the agony and depression he would face if he continued living, this is characterized by the absence of green, meaning vitality and life, he shows us this road as barren with only a streak of green. This small streak may be for Theo, his only friend and confidant. The middle road ends in the middle of the field. I think Vincent was already contemplating his suicide and knew where his road was to end.
Notice that the road leads directly to the most white section of the entire painting. This represents the ascension into the sky to a more perfect place devoid of the lamentable suffering van Gogh has endured through mortality. The crows seemed to be a symbol of death that from the distance are ascending upon him. Despite all the doom and gloom of the this work, the vast majority of the space is bequeathed to brighter colors. The Spanish yellow of the field conjure feelings of solitude and the pleasant blue in the background gives the sensation of serenity.
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Van Gogh in all his anguish of not being understood by anyone still possessed that glimmer of hope that tends to be unconquerable in the human spirit. We must also consider the time and place of van Gogh’s work. Undoubtedly the result of the unhappy circumstances of his own life his works rest upon a dreary theme. But we must place it in the wider context of his times and see it also as a terrifying manifestation of the growing social an spiritual alienation of society in the late 19 th century. Carefully analyzed, one may see the macrocosm of Europe within the microcosm of van Gogh’s paintings.
The last years of the 19 th century, of which Gogh painted, Europe saw the threat of war gathering with increasing speed. The gap between the prosperous and the poor, the growth of the forces of big business, overcrowding and food shortages in the cities all tended to create a climate of unease that rivalries of the major European powers exacerbated. This climate of unease shouts at us through the Crows Over a Wheatfield, with the trashing of linear perspective. We must also suggest the upheaval of social society and the status quo. The women’s rights movement started to roll in full force. Writers like Ibsen and Dickens began writing about the poor classes of society, vaporizing them and giving them a voice.
Vincent was the also the father of one of the biggest movements in art history. By the early years of the 20 th century two movements began to emerge: Fauvism and Expressionism. He greatly influenced the work of Edvard Munch, as seen in his scream. In conclusion, from the analysis of perspective, color, symbolism, and organization in Crows Over a Wheatfield leads us to consider the major themes he is representing– the road of life. Even though the road seems muddy, there always exists the greener side of life (vegetation).
One cannot foretell his future being blocked by the nebulous wheatfield, but despite these obstacles the horizon grants us a luminescent purity and light to be guided by and inspired by.
At the narrowing of his life, he picked a theme laced with religious qualities. Bibliography Adams, Vernon. Paintings and Drawings, v 11. New York City: New York Graphic Society, 1993. Armstrong, Charles.
Edith Wharton depicts in her novel the 19 th century life of the New York elite through the eyes of Newland Archer. The society is seen as suffocating its members by strict rules on behaviour and only the arrival of Countess Ellen Olen ska begins to open Archer s eyes to the narrow-mindedness of the society and its estrangement from reality. There are many references to suffocation and death in ...
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The Van Gogh Museum. Zwolle: Wanders Publishers, 1974. Meier-Graeme, Julius. Vincent van Gogh. New York: Halcyon House, 1958. 357.