Auvers-sur-Oise, July 1890 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
50.3 cm x 100.1 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
This painting seems at first sight to consist of a jumble of bright colours and fanciful abstract forms. Only after that do you realise that it shows a slope with tree trunks and roots. These are trees used for timber, growing in a marl quarry. Such quarries could be found around Auvers (FR). The work was not entirely completed. That explains its unfinished appearance. It is probably Van Gogh's very last painting. Andries Bonger, the brother-in-law of Vincent's brother Theo, described it in a letter: 'The morning before his death, he had painted a sous-bois [forest scene], full of sun and life.'