Dark patch

Van Gogh finds the dark cypresses with their flaming silhouettes so characteristic of Provence, ‘as regards lines and proportions, like an Egyptian obelisk. And the green has such a distinguished quality. It’s the dark patch in a sun-drenched landscape, but it’s one of the most interesting dark notes, the most difficult to hit off exactly that I can imagine’.


He describes this painting as ‘a group of them [cypresses] in the corner of a wheatfield on a summer’s day when the mistral is blowing. […] enveloped in blue moving in great circulating currents of air’. It is one of his most impasto works. The trees are made up of curly, flame-like brushstrokes and all the surrounding vegetation is also full of life, as though the mistral is raging violently.

Article full of praise

The critic Albert Aurier publishes an article full of praise for Van Gogh’s work in January 1890. He commends the painter as a dreaming realist who bends reality to his will in an unparalleled manner. Van Gogh is pleasantly surprised by this, even though he feels that Aurier pays him too great a tribute. By way of thanks, he sends him this Cypresses with two figures.