Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853 - 1890
Oil on canvas
21 3/4 x 26 1/4 in. (55.2 x 66.7 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Richard A. Cooke and Family in memory of Richard A. Cooke, 1946 (377.1)
In February 1888, Vincent van Gogh moved from Paris to Arles, a small town on the Rhône River in the South of France. In Arles, all that had influenced him in Paris-Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, and Japanese prints-coalesced into a mature style marked by energetic, relief-like impasto and riotous, ebullient color. Wheat Field belongs to the artist's "Harvest" series, a group of ten paintings from the last half of June 1888. Distinct horizontal compositional bands lead the eye from the sheaves in the foreground to the rows of wheat in the middle ground, to the trees and houses on the horizon and the sky above. Like his friend and fellow Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin, van Gogh emphasized personal expression over material reality, and in doing so anticipated twentieth-century Modernism.