Modern Art Monday Presents: Vincent Van Gogh, Mountains at Saint Remy

Mountains at Saint Remy
Photo By Gail

While recovering from a mental breakdown at a hospital in Saint-Remy, Vincent Van Gogh created this depiction of the Alpilles, a low mountain range in the southern French town. Van Gogh‘s characteristic heavy impasto and bold, broad brushstrokes activate the terrain and sky. In his letters, the artist wrote: “I rather like the ‘Entrance to a Quarry’ — I was doing it when I felt this attack coming on — because to my mind the somber greens go well with the ocher tones; there is something sad in it which is healthy, and that is why is does not bore me. Perhaps that is true of the ‘Mountain’ too. They will tell me that mountains are not like that and that there are black outlines of a finger’s width. But after all it seemed to me it expressed that passage in [Edouard] Rod’s book [Le sens de la vie, 1889] . . .  about a desolate country of somber mountains, among which are some dark goatherds’ huts where sunflowers are blooming.”

Photographed in the Thannhauser Collection Galleries at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC

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