La Chaumière sous les Arbres by Vincent van Gogh
ARTFIX DAILY, March 29, 2016--
The paintings of Vincent van Gogh rank amongst the most iconic in the world. Simply the mention of his name evokes thoughts of celebrated masterpieces created by one of history’s most important artists – masterpieces that, for the most part, are found only in the most prestigious museum collections.
Along with his captivating, distinctive aesthetic style, much of the appeal of his legendary paintings comes from the insight they give into the uncompromising, often troubled genius that is van Gogh. Once part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s collection, La Chaumière sous les Arbres (The Cottage under the Trees), is not only visually compelling and marvelously composed, but it marks an important creative shift in his early output. His earliest recognized masterpiece, De Aardappeleters (The Potato Eaters), dates to 1885, the very same year as this immensely important oil on canvas.
La Chaumière sous les Arbres was created at a turning point in van Gogh’s career. He had spent the past two years in the southern Netherlands, and had little success with his art. His brother Théo was managing Goupil’s gallery and suggested adding brighter colors to his works, rather than the muted, earthy tones that permeated van Gogh’s palette. It was that suggestion that led to this highly emotive composition. With the artist’s hallmark intense brushwork, the peasant blends effortlessly into the landscape, contrasted by the bright sky and vivid wildflowers that act as jeweled beacons upon the canvas.
A Post-Impressionist tour-de-force, La Chaumière sous les Arbres provides a rare glimpse into the beginning of arguably the most immensely impactful and tragically short artistic career in modern history.