Van Gogh Cottages

While in the hospital in Saint-Rémy in the spring of 1890, Van Gogh did several paintings from memory of scenes from his earlier years. Without being able to get out of the hospital much, Van Gogh relied on the pictures he had in his mind as his inspiration. In a letter to his brother Theo from April 30, 1890 he wrote,

“While I was ill I nevertheless did some little canvases from memory which you will see later, memories of the North,”

One of the memories that Van Gogh painted was cottages with thatched roofs. He seemed to long for the familiarity of home and wanted to revisit some of his earlier works. Also on April 30, Van Gogh wrote to his mother and sister for the first time in months after his illness. In the letter he wrote,

“I continued painting even when my illness was at its height, among other things a memory of Brabant, hovels with moss-covered roofs and beech hedges on an autumn evening with a stormy sky, the sun setting amid ruddy clouds.”

Even after leaving Saint-Rémy and moving North to Auvers-sur-Oise, Van Gogh continued to paint cottages and recognized them as a charming part of the surrounding landscape. In a letter to his brother Theo written shortly after his arrival in Auvers, Van Gogh stated,

“Auvers is quite beautiful, among other things a lot of old thatched roofs, which are getting rare.”

Van Gogh appreciated the peacefulness of the countryside and the beauty surrounding him. Although the landscape was different from the South of France, Van Gogh felt that his experience there taught him to see more in terms of color. On May 21, 1890 he wrote to Theo stating,

“Now I have one study of old thatched roofs with a field of peas in flower in the foreground and wheat, background of hills,. A study which I think you will like. And I already feel that it did me good to go South, the better to see the North.”

 

Cottages and Cypresses: Reminiscence of the North Thatched Cottages
Thatched Cottages in the Sunshine: Reminiscence of the North Cottages: Reminiscence of the North

Letters Source:
http://www.webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/20/629.htm
http://www.webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/20/629a.htm
http://www.webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/21/636.htm
http://www.webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/21/635.htm

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