Christie's /Feb 28, 2017
€349,976.62 - €583,294.37
Along with Vincent Van Gogh, our clients also searched for the following authors:
Constantin Andrevich Somov, Anna Petrovna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Nikolai Alexandrov. Benois, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri, Le Douanier Rousseau, Alexandre Benois, Giorgio De Chirico, Mirko Basaldella, Antonio Canal Canaletto, Giuseppe Zigaina, Alexander Nikolaiev. Benois
Constantin Andrevich Somov, Anna Petrovna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Nikolai Alexandrov. Benois, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri, Le Douanier Rousseau, Alexandre Benois, Giorgio De Chirico, Mirko Basaldella, Antonio Canal Canaletto, Giuseppe Zigaina, Alexander Nikolaiev. Benois
Artworks in Arcadja482
Some works of Vincent Van GoghExtracted between 482 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Christie's -Jun 27, 2017 - LondonLot number: 6
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) Le moissonneur (d\’après Millet) oil on canvas 17 x 9 5/8 in. (43.3 x 24.3 cm.) Painted in Saint-Rémy in 1889 \‘I then saw in this reaper – a vague figure struggling like a devil in the full heat of the day to reach the end of his toil – I then saw the image of death in it, in this sense that humanity would be the wheat being reaped. So if you like it\’s the opposite of that Sower I tried before. But in this death nothing sad, it takes place in broad daylight with a sun that floods everything with a light of fine gold.\’ (Vincent van Gogh) \‘Millet is father Millet, counsellor and mentor in everything for young artists.\’ (Vincent van Gogh) \‘Diggers, sowers, ploughmen, men, and women – these must I now unceasingly draw. I must examine and draw every aspect of country life just as many others have done and are still doing. I no longer stand so helpless before nature as I once did.\’ (Vincent van Gogh) \‘The Millet copies are perhaps the finest things you\’ve done, and make me believe that big surprises still await us the day you set yourself by doing figure compositions.\’ (Theo van Gogh in a letter to Vincent) Painted at Saint-Rémy in September 1889 at a critical moment in the penultimate year of Vincent van Gogh\’s life, Le moissonneur (d\’après Millet) pays homage to the artist whom he most admired and respected: Jean-François Millet. Charged with intense colour and electrifying brushwork, this painting dates from the beginning of one of the most prolific periods of Van Gogh\’s career, a stage that saw an almost miraculous outpouring of work in the midst of the artist\’s episodic yet ever-increasing mental breakdowns that punctuated the final years of his life. One of ten paintings that Van Gogh made after a series of drawings by Millet, Les travaux des champs (\‘The Labours of the Field\’), Le moissonneur sees the artist return to a figure that had come to dominate his depictions of the rural French, and earlier Dutch, countryside: the reaper. Together with the figure of the sower, these rural figures have become almost synonymous with Van Gogh\’s art, imbued with symbolism to encapsulate the near-fervent devotion he had for nature and the deep affiliation he felt for those who worked within it. Pictured under a deep cobalt blue sky, toiling in the fields as he sweeps his scythe through the sea of golden corn, the male figure takes on a monumental presence; this rural labourer exalted to the heroic status of an icon amidst the land of southern France. Perhaps the most experimental of this series in terms of the vitality of the intense, exaggerated tones of blue and yellow, this painting demonstrates the groundbreaking use of expressionistic colour for which Van Gogh has become best known. Of the ten paintings in this series, Le moissonneur is one of only three to remain in private hands; the remaining seven works reside in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. The story of how Van Gogh came to reside in the asylum at Saint-Rémy is well known; indeed, the events of the final years of the artist\’s life have become the stuff of legend. After suffering the second of two successive breakdowns – the first of which had occurred at Christmas 1888, and resulted in him cutting off part of his own ear, and the second in February 1889 – Van Gogh admitted himself into Saint-Paul-de-Mausol in Saint-Rémy in May 1889. Here, the artist returned to relative peace, painting the extensive gardens of the asylum as well as the wheat fields and vistas beyond. This stability was not to last, however, and in the middle of July, after a visit to Arles to collect some of the paintings that he had left behind, he suffered another mental collapse. Devastated by the return of the illness he thought he had overcome, Van Gogh was left unable to paint or even leave the confines of his bedroom. After a period of six weeks he had recovered his strength. His creative powers returned with an extraordinary force and by mid-September, he had completed at least eighteen paintings, a remarkable feat in such a short space of time. As Jan Hulsker has written of this astonishing recuperation: \‘When we delve into the chronology and background of the work produced in these weeks [of return to work], we encounter another of those enigmas that periodically marked the career of this highly gifted and inspired artist. The number and the quality of the works he produced almost immediately after his recovery are almost incredible\’ (J. Hulsker, The New Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, Amsterdam & Philadelphia, 1996, p. 404). It was at this time that Van Gogh painted Le moissonneur. At the very beginning of his recovery, before he ventured outside, he turned to a series of drawings by Millet. Entitled Les travaux des champs, this series – first executed in 1852, and published in the periodical L'illustration, before being engraved in wood by Jacques-Adrien Lavieille the following year – encompassed ten depictions of singular male and female peasant figures engaged in all aspects of the harvest. Unable to leave his room, Van Gogh initially turned to his much loved reproduction of these harvest scenes out of practicality, using them to practice painting the figure and to experiment with colour. Towards the end of September, he wrote to his brother Theo, \‘At present I have seven copies out of ten of Millet\’s Les travaux des champs. I can assure you that it interests me enormously to make copies, and that not having any models for the moment it will ensure, however, that I don\’t lose sight of the figure\’ (Letter 805, L. Jansen, H. Luijten & N. Bakker, eds., Vincent van Gogh, The Letters: The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition, vol. 5, London & New York, 2009, p. 100). What started as a project of necessity, however, quickly became something of a much deeper import. Over the coming months he painted a host of works inspired by Millet, including The Sower (1889, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo), Two Peasants Digging (1889, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam) and The First Steps (1890, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), amongst a number of others. His paintings after Millet consoled, comforted and reinvigorated him, gradually bringing him back to life. \‘I set myself to it by chance, and I find that it teaches and above all sometimes consoles\’, he wrote to Theo. \‘So then my brush goes between my fingers as if it were a bow on the violin and absolutely for my pleasure\’ (ibid., p. 101). While Le moissonneur and the other paintings of this series are based on Millet\’s drawings of the same subject, they are anything but \‘copies\’ in the literal sense of the word. \‘It\’s not copying pure and simple that one would be doing\’, Van Gogh explained to Theo. \‘It is rather translating into another language, the one of colours, the impressions of chiaroscuro and white and black\’ (Letter 839, ibid., p. 182). Van Gogh spent a great deal of time meditating on this practice of looking back to his most revered masters, extensively explaining the work he was doing through the autumn to Theo. \‘You\’ll be surprised what effect the Travaux des champs take on in colour, it\’s a very intimate series of his. What I\’m seeking in it, and why it seems good to me to copy them, I\’m going to try and tell you\’, he wrote. \‘We painters are always asked to compose ourselves and to be nothing but composers. Very well – but in music it isn\’t so – and if such a person plays some Beethoven he\’ll add his personal interpretation to it – in music, and then above all of singing – a composer\’s interpretation is something, and it isn\’t a hard and fast rule that only the composer plays his own compositions\’ (Letter 805, ibid., p. 101). Taking Millet\’s drawings as his foundation, Van Gogh allowed his imagination to take flight, transforming the black and white images by conjuring combinations of colours that Millet would never have dreamt of. Flooded with light, and atmosphere and filled with a definite sense of time and place, these works took on a new life in the hands of the artist. As with the greatest of Van Gogh\’s works of this period, Le moissonneur is rendered with the artist\’s distinctively dramatic colour and tormented brushwork, the field of swaying grain imbued with a life force as palpable and dynamic as that of the reaper himself. The deep blue sky has a dense, smothering opacity, painted in places with the same short, angled brushstrokes as the golden field and bordering vivid green hedgerow. As in many of the landscapes that Van Gogh had painted that summer at Saint-Rémy – works such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art\’s Wheat Field with Cypresses or Mountainous Landscape behind Saint-Paul Hospital in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen for example – the sky is no longer a boundless realm, but is something tangible, a burgeoning mass that weighs down upon the earth below, its turbulent formation echoed in the roiling landscape. Every part of nature is enlivened in this painting, endowed with the same teeming vitality as man himself. Landscape and man become one harmonious entity, treated by Van Gogh with a fervent reverence. Above all, however, it is the dazzling contrast of yellow and blue that dominates Le moissonneur. The golden, impastoed corn intensifies the band of cobalt blue above. The peasant\’s body links these two planes of bold almost unmodulated colour; his blue shirt sleeve vividly contrasting with the yellow field and likewise, his yellow straw hat and ochre overalls illuminated against the sky. This primary colour pairing was one of Van Gogh\’s favourites and has come to epitomise his painting in the south of France; perhaps exemplified most vividly by works such as The Café Terrace (1888, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo) or The Yellow House (1888, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam). Yet, this combination had struck the artist many years previously, when he was still living in Holland; \‘I am on the lookout for blue all the time\’, he wrote to Theo from Neunen. \‘The peasant figures are blue here as a rule. That blue in the ripe corn…so that the faded shades of dark and light blue are brought to life again and made eloquent by the contrast with gold tones or red-brown\’ (Van Gogh, quoted in L. van Tilborgh, ed., exh. cat., Van Gogh & Millet, Amsterdam, 1988-89, p. 124). With his intense and penetrating perception of the world around him, Van Gogh painted visions of the southern landscape that were set ablaze with luminous colour. By February of 1890, Van Gogh had painted all ten of Millet\’s Travaux series, and had also undertaken his own versions of the artist\’s Les quatre heures du jour (\‘The Four Hours of Day\’), as well as works after Delacroix and Rembrandt. He most likely sent Le moissonneur and the rest of his copies after Millet to Theo at the end of April 1890 (Letter 863, op. cit., p. 213). Theo responded to this consignment, which also included works such as the famed Almond Blossom (1890, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), with great praise, writing on 3 May 1890: \‘Your consignment of canvases has arrived too, and there are some that are very, very beautiful… The Millet copies are perhaps the finest things you\’ve done, and make me believe that big surprises still await us the day you set yourself by doing figure compositions\’ (Letter 867, ibid., p. 228). Millet\’s Les travaux des champs were by no means new to Van Gogh; entirely the contrary in fact: the artist was deeply familiar with these drawings and had admired them, as well as the rest of Millet\’s oeuvre, since his earliest days as an artist. When, in Holland in the early 1880s, Van Gogh began his career as an artist, Millet\’s life and work served as an essential model. Painting predominantly rural scenes and subjects, Van Gogh spent time studying and copying Millet\’s work, particularly his iconic Un semeur (1850, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). In August 1880, he wrote to Theo asking if he could borrow his brother\’s copy of the woodcuts of Les travaux des champs. A month later he wrote again to update him on his progress: \‘I\’ve sketched the ten sheets of Millet\’s Les travaux des champs and… I hope you won\’t be too unhappy with the drawings… these little wood engravings are wonderful. As I\’ll already have twenty sheets after Millet, all told, you can well understand that if you could obtain some more for me I\’d be very keen to do them, as I\’m trying to study this master seriously\’ (Letter 157, ibid., vol. 1, p. 252). For Van Gogh, the nineteenth-century Barbizon school and realist painter was a mentor, hero and spiritual guide, an artist whose life and art both deeply inspired and provided an exemplar for his own path as an artist. Van Gogh had a fervent devotion to the French radical, regarding him with a quasi-religious zeal; \‘if I compare Pa with the great Father Millet, his doctrines are so great that it makes Pa\’s outlook terribly small\’ (Van Gogh, quoted in L. van Tilborgh, op. cit., p. 17). Like Millet, Van Gogh felt a strong affiliation with the working class, the peasants and rural labourers whom he saw in the fields and villages of Holland. The simple, rural existence lived by these men and women was something that the evangelically-inclined and almost obsessively ascetic Dutch artist was particularly sympathetic to; he wrote once that he wanted nothing more than \‘to be content with food, drink, clothing, sleeping, with what the peasants are content with. Millet did that and desired nothing else\’ (Van Gogh, quoted in ibid., p. 12). The figure of the reaper had featured in Van Gogh\’s work just a few months before he painted Le moissonneur. In the summer of 1889, before he suffered the breakdown that kept him infirm for the rest of the summer months, he had embarked on a landscape, Wheatfields behind asylum with reaper (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo), which he returned to once he was recovered in September. \‘Work is going quite well\’, he reported to his brother. \‘I\’m struggling with a canvas begun a few days before my illness. A reaper, the study is all yellow, terribly thickly impasted, but the subject was beautiful and simple. I then saw in this reaper – a vague figure struggling like a devil in the full heat of the day to reach the end of his toil – I then saw the image of death in it, in this sense that humanity would be the wheat being reaped. So if you like it\’s the opposite of that Sower I tried before. But in this death nothing sad, it takes place in broad daylight with a sun that floods everything with a light of fine gold\’ (Letter 800, op. cit., vol. 5, p. 80). Standing at opposite poles of iconographic symbolism – life and death, creation and destruction – the reaper and the sower are likewise the overarching figures of Van Gogh\’s oeuvre. For Van Gogh, these rural labourers assumed a profoundly divine, religious symbolism, working in perfect accord and union in the eternal cycle of nature. While the sower was the symbol of creation, depicted in 1888 with an orb-like halo above him, the reaper was \‘an image of death as the great book of nature speaks about it\’ (ibid., p. 85). Yet, this is not a sinister or ominous image, but is rather demonstrative of the endless, unchanging cycles of nature, and by extension life. This innate union was something that Van Gogh endlessly marvelled at and is what lends his unique visions of the Provençal landscape and those who lived within it their transcendent power. \‘And it is something\’, the artist once remarked, \‘in the snows of winter, in the autumn with its yellow leaves, in the summer with its ripe corn, in the spring with its lush grass, it is quite something being with the reapers and the peasant girls, in the summer with the huge sky above, in the winter under the black mantelpiece. And to feel what has always been and what always will be\’ (Van Gogh, quoted in L. van Tilborgh, op. cit., p. 18).
Auction: Sotheby's -Jun 21, 2017 - LondonLot number: 16
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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION Vincent van Gogh UN COIN DE JARDIN À ARLES signed Vincent (lower left) reed pen and brown ink and pencil on paper with the artist's marbleised paper fictive frame 24.2 by 31.6cm. 9 1/2 by 12 1/2 in. Executed at Arles in 1888. Emile Bernard (a gift from the artist on 15th July 1888) Julien Tanguy, Paris (acquired from the above by 1892) Johan Rohde, Copenhagen (acquired from the above in 1892) Mrs Asa Johan Rohde, Copenhagen (by descent from the above. Sold by her estate: Sotheby's, London, 6th July 1960, lot 160) M.F. Feheley, Toronto (sold: Sotheby's, London, 28th June 1972, lot 5) J.S. Lewis, New York (purchased at the above sale) Wildenstein & Co., New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in June 2009 Copenhagen, Halmtorv, Frie udstilling, 1893, no. 197 Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Fransk Kunst, Maleri og Skulptur fra det 19. og 20. Aarhundrede, 1945, no. 113 (titled Landsskabstudie. Motiv fra Arles) New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Van Gogh in Arles, 1984, no. 72, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (titled Garden with Weeping Tree) Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Van Gogh, 2000, no. 65, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (titled Jardin à l'arbre pleureur) Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum & New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings, 2005, no. 88, illustrated in colour in the catalogue, illustrated as an infrared reflectogram in the catalogue London, Royal Academy of Arts, The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters, 2010, no. 103, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (titled The Garden: A Corner of a Garden in the Place Lamartine) Jacob-Baart de la Faille, L'Œuvre de Vincent van Gogh, Catalogue raisonné, Paris & Brussels, 1928, vol. III, no. 1450, catalogued p. 137; vol. IV, no. 1450, illustrated pl. CLVII Johan Rohde, Journal fra en Rejse i 1892, Copenhagen, 1955, illustrated p. 89 Jacob-Baart de la Faille, The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings, Amsterdam, 1970, no. F1450, illustrated p. 507 Paolo Lecaldano, Tout l'œuvre peint de Van Gogh, Paris, 1971, vol. II, no. 571 B, illustrated p. 212 Mark W. Roskill, \\\‘Van Gogh's exchanges of work with Emile Bernard in 1888\\\’, in Oud Holland, vol. 86, Issue 1, 1971, illustrated p. 145 (titled A Park in Arles) Charles W. Millard, 'A Chronology for Van Gogh's Drawings of 1888\\\’, in Master Drawings, XII, no. 2, 1974, discussed pp. 160-164 Jan Hulsker, 'The Poet\\\’s Garden\\\’, in Vincent. Bulletin of the Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, no. 1, 1974, illustrated p. 23 Jan Hulsker, The Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, New York, 1980, no. 1509, illustrated p. 344 Jan Hulsker, The Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, New York, 1984, no. 1509, illustrated p. 344 (titled Newly Mowed Lawn with Weeping Tree) Gauguin og van Gogh i Kobenhavn i 1893 (exhibition catalogue), Ordrupgaardsamlingen, Copenhagen, 1984, no. 64, illustrated p. 115 Susan Alyson Stein (ed.), Van Gogh: A Retrospective, New York, 1986, illustrated p. 290 (titled Garden with Weeping Tree) Van Gogh et Arles, Exposition du Centenaire (exhibition catalogue), Ancien Hôpital Van Gogh, Arles, 1989, mentioned p. 48 Vincent van Gogh, Drawings (exhibition catalogue), Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 1990, mentioned pp. 231 & 238 Jacob-Baart de la Faille, Vincent van Gogh: The Complete Works on Paper, Catalogue Raisonné, San Francisco, 1992, vol. I, no. 1450, catalogued p. 378; vol. II, no. 1450, illustrated pl. CLVII Liesbeth Heenk, Vincent van Gogh's Drawings, An Analysis of Their Production and Uses, London, 1995, mentioned pp. 170, 171 & 240 Jan Hulsker, The New Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, Amsterdam & Philadelphia, 1996, no. 1509, illustrated p. 344 (titled Newly Mowed Lawn with Weeping Tree) Marije Vellekoop & Roelie Zwikker, Vincent van Gogh, Drawings, Amsterdam, 2007, vol. 4, p. 86 Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten & Nienke Bakker (eds.), Vincent van Gogh: The Letters, London, 2009, vol. 4, illustrated in colour pp. 176, 305 & 307 Van Gogh\\\’s Un Coin de jardin à Arles belongs to a group of fifteen drawings executed in the early summer months of 1888 which he sent to his friend Emile Bernard in a burst of intense creativity which now provides a succinct impression of his increasing artistic confidence and ambition. Bernard and Van Gogh had met during the latter\\\’s stay in Paris in 1889-87 and quickly cemented a strong friendship. They kept up an animated correspondence when they went their separate ways, exchanging ideas about painting and eventually works of art themselves. Bernard sent Van Gogh a group of pen and ink sketches in the Spring of 1888 and Van Gogh responded with a selection of his own drawings, sending an initial group of six on the 15th July (including the present work) and sending a further group of nine a few days later. Un Coin de jardin à Arles was the pre-eminent work among these and the only one that van Gogh referred to explicitly in his letters. He also emphasised its importance in the way he presented it to Bernard; Susan Alyson Stein describes how Van Gogh, \\\‘often gave thought to the presentation of his works – even those being shown informally to friends or family\\\’, going on to explain how in the case of the present work, \\\‘he affixed a marbleized paper border, giving the motif – which he had already singled out by mentioning it in his cover letter – the distinction of having a frame, albeit a makeshift one, apparently cobbled together from bits of book endpapers, portfolio or wrapping paper\\\’ (S. A. Stein in Vincent Van Gogh. The Drawings, op. cit., p. 272). The subject of Un Coin de jardin à Arles was obviously of some fascination to Van Gogh, who described it to his brother Theo in a letter written around 5th July 1888: \\\‘Here is a new subject. A corner of a garden with clipped shrubs and a weeping tree, and in the background some clumps of oleanders. And the lawn just cut with some long trails of hay drying in the sun, and a little corner of blue-green sky at the top\\\’ (Vincent van Gogh: The Letters, op. cit., vol. IV, letter no. 636, p. 160). The motif, which was taken from one of the gardens in the Place Lamartine which Van Gogh could see from the Yellow House, was repeated in two further drawings, one included in a letter to Theo and another which was sent to the Australian painter John Peter Russell. The present view directly relates to the oil painting Pelouse ensoleillée: Jardin public de la Place Lamartine and the garden appears again from a slightly different viewpoint in Le Jardin du Poète which is now in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago. The drawings were executed after the oil and in sending them to his brother and friends Van Gogh hoped to offer a snapshot of the themes and concerns he was pursuing in his painting. However, these pen and ink drawings had an appeal for the artist that was separate to their relationship with his oil painting; as he observed in a letter of 1883, working in this way, \\\‘makes it possible to put effects on paper in a relatively short time which would lose something of what people call their \\\‘spontaneity\\\’ if done in another way\\\’ (Vincent van Gogh: The Letters, op. cit., vol. II, letter no. 307, p. 255). That spontaneity is immediately apparent in the present work which combines a remarkable control and concision in the handling with a vivid sense of the moment in an exquisite example of Van Gogh\\\’s work in this medium.
Auction: Sotheby's -May 16, 2017 - New-yorkLot number: 46
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Vincent van Gogh PEOPLE SITTING ON A BENCH IN BEZUIDENHOUT, THE HAGUE 1853 - 1890 Signed Vincent (lower left) Watercolor heightened with gouache on paper 10 3/4 by 15 in. 27.3 by 38.1 cm Executed in The Hague in September 1882. The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. (probably) Anna Cornelia van Gogh-Carbentus, Nuenen/Breda (mother of the artist) Janus Schrauwen, Breda (acquired from the above in 1888) Jan C. Couvreur, Breda (acquired from the above on August 14, 1902) Kees Mouwen Jr. & Willem van Bakel, Breda (acquired from the above in 1902-03) Sebald Rudolf Steinmetz, Amsterdam R. Th. Steinmetz, Ellecom, Netherlands (by descent from the above) R. Steinmetz, The Hague (by descent from the above by 1969) Private Collection, Germany (by descent from the above and sold: Sotheby's Parke Bernet, London, June 30, 1976, lot 95) Private Collection, New York (acquired at the above sale) Thence by descent to the present owner Exhibited Rotterdam, Kunstzalen, Oldenzeel, Vincent Van Gogh, 1903, no. 70 Rotterdam, Kunstzalen, Oldenzeel, Vincent Van Gogh, 1904, no. 49 Amsterdam, Kunsthandel E. J. Van Wisselingh, Vincent Van Gogh: Quelques Oeuvres de l'Epoque 1881-86, provenant de collections particulières néerlandaises, 1956, no. 5 (titled Pêcheurs de Scheveningue assis sur un banc) Amsterdam, Kunsthandel E. J. Van Wisselingh, Vincent Van Gogh: aquarelles et dessins de l'époque 1881-85 provenant de collections particulières néerlandaises, 1961, no. 15, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Pêcheurs de Schevinggue assis sur un banc) Literature Jacob Baart de la Faille, Vincent Van Gogh, Paris & Brussels, 1928, vol. III, no. F951, catalogued p. 30; vol. IV, no. F951, illustrated pl. XXVII (titled Pêcheurs de Scheveningue assis sur un banc) Walther Vanbeselaere, De Hollandasche periode (1880-85) in het werk van Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), Antwerp, 1937, mentioned pp. 85, 162 & 408 Catalogue of 271 Works by Vincent van Gogh Belonging to the Collection of the State Museum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 1956, discussed p. 9 Jacob Baart de la Faille, The Works of Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam, 1970, no. F951, illustrated p. 355 Jan Hulsker, The Complete Van Gogh, Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, New York, 1980, no. 197, illustrated p. 53 (titled Bench with Four Persons (and Baby)) Van Gogh en den Haag (exhibition catalogue), Haags Historisch Museum, The Hague, 1990, illustrated p. 138 (titled Bank mit vier personen en een baby) Jacob Baart de la Faille, Vincent Van Gogh, The Complete Works on Paper, Catalogue Raisonné, San Francisco, 1992, vol. I, no. 951, catalogued p. 245; vol. II, illustrated pl. XXVII Jan Hulsker, The New Complete Van Gogh, Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, 1996, no. 197, illustrated p. 53 (titled Bench with Four Persons (and Baby)) Sjraar van Heugten, Vincent Van Gogh, Drawings, The Early Years 1880-1883, Amsterdam & London, 1996, vol. I, illustrated p. 126 (titled Four People Sitting on a Bench) Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten & Nienke Bakker, Vincent van Gogh, The Letters, The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition, Volume 2: The Hague, 1881-1883, London, 2009, illustrated pp. 151 & 153-54 During the time Van Gogh spent in The Hague between 1881-1883 he was both inspired and compelled to take the working men and women around him as his subjects, producing a series of acutely-observed works documenting their daily lives. Executed in 1882, People Sitting on a Bench in Bezuidenhout, The Hague is a delicate and evocative example of his work from this period and the largest and most complex of four related studies that show the same bench and tree with various arrangements of figures beneath. Van Gogh included two versions of the scene in a letter to his brother Theo on September 11, 1882 explaining: \“I drew the bench after a larger watercolour [the present work] that I'm working on in which the tones are deeper ...\” (quoted in L. Jansen, H. Luijten & N. Bakker, op. cit., p. 150). Responding to an earlier suggestion of Theo\’\’\’\’s, he goes on to propose that the engaging subject and his use of watercolor might prove more appealing to potential buyers. The present work certainly reveals the artist\’\’\’\’s growing facility in the medium of watercolor with the figures on the bench rendered in fluid strokes of paint heightened by the delicate details of the pipe and glasses of the furthest figure. Equally the subject, capturing a brief moment of leisure, illustrates the artist\’\’\’\’s enthusiasm for these scenes, as he explained later in the same letter: \“I love it so much, sketching on the street, and, as I wrote in my last letter, I\’\’\’\’m determined to achieve a certain standard in it.… I'm full of new pleasure in things because I have fresh hope of myself being able to make something with some soul in it\” (quoted in ibid., pp. 150-51).
Auction: Christie's -Feb 28, 2017 - LondonLot number: 19
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Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) Studies of Peasants Working: Sowers and Diggers (recto); A Man in front of a Farmstead: Other Sketches (verso) pencil on paper (recto); chalk on paper (verso) 9 3/8 x 12 1/2 in. (23.7 x 31.7 cm.) Executed in Saint-Rémy in January - April 1890 (recto) and spring 1890 (verso) During the opening months of 1890, Vincent van Gogh found himself in increasingly ill health, confined to his room at the psychiatric asylum in Saint Rémy-de-Provence to which he had committed himself the previous May. During this time, his doctors advised against painting, fearful that the swirling colours and expressive force of his compositions were adversely affecting his mental state. As a result, Van Gogh turned to drawing as a creative outlet, working from his imagination and memory, often reverting back to themes which had fascinated him several years earlier in the Netherlands. Perhaps most importantly, he returned to making copies of paintings by some of his favourite artists of the Nineteenth Century, primarily those of Jean-François Millet, working from black-and-white reproductions that he had brought with him to Saint-Rémy. In a letter to his brother Theo, dated 13 January 1890, Van Gogh expressed his admiration for this artist: ‘I find it a very happy thing that in this century there have been painters like Millet … who cannot be surpassed’’’’’’’’ (Van Gogh, quoted in Vincent van Gogh: The Letters, vol. 5, London, 2009, p. 184). Detailing his renewed interest in these paintings, Van Gogh explained to Theo that the works he was producing were not exact copies, but rather ‘translations’’’’’’’’ inspired by the central themes of Millet’’’’’’’’s works. The present sheet contains various studies of figures in action, primarily diggers and sowers, two leitmotifs which correspond directly to Millet’’’’’’’’s representations of the rural working class. For Van Gogh, as with Millet, these diggers embodied the hard life of the peasant, toiling in the fields, turning the soil by hand, as they tried to eke out a living on the land. While some of the figures are indicated by contours alone, there are several, most notably the two diggers in the centre of the upper register, whose bodies are constructed using Van Gogh’’’’’’’’s distinctive parallel hatching of short, powerful lines. A signature technique seen in numerous paintings of this period, these strokes curve slightly as they echo the outlines of the men’’’’’’’’s bodies, lending the two figures an enhanced sense of energy and movement. On the verso, another quick sketch in soft chalk is visible, its lines much looser, its subject less defined than those seen on the recto. A small thatched cottage is just visible along the left hand side, while a farm labourer carrying his tools over his shoulder can be seen walking along a pathway at the centre. Exploring an assortment of poses in a variety of different scales, Van Gogh’’’’’’’’s drawings show his intense fascination with the subject of the working classes, with each graphic stroke offering an insight into the artist’’’’’’’’s unstoppable creative energy at this time, as he sought an alternative means of artistic expression in the face of his own personal suffering.
Auction: Christie's -Nov 16, 2016 - New-yorkLot number: 47B
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Wever naar rechts gekeerd (Weaver Facing Right) oil on canvas laid down on panel 14 3/8 x 17 5/8 in. (36.6 x 45 cm.) Painted in 1884 In Drenthe during the final months of 1883, Van Gogh claimed that “painting comes more easily to me; I feel the urge to tackle all sorts of things that I left undone until today” (Letter no. 367; to Theo van Gogh, 16 October 1883). But desperately short of money, he left in early December to live with his parents in Nuenen. He was keen to continue working in oils, and took up an idea he had been pondering since 1880, a series of pictures depicting local weavers engaged in their work. The world-renowned textile industry in Brabant had fallen on hard times, yielding foreign markets to more efficient competition from fully mechanized English manufacturers, while becoming dependent on less lucrative domestic consumption. Most Dutch weavers were independent rural artisans working at home, few of whom could keep up with advances in technology and the consolidation of resources in the cities. Many such erstwhile entrepreneurs, having lost ownership of their looms, joined a growing army of wage-earning workers, who were poorly paid and lived in squalid slums. Van Gogh sought to capture a traditional way of life and a quality of handiwork that was rapidly disappearing. “When I am not with Ma, I’’’’’’’’m at a weaver’’’’’’’’s nearby, where I am working on two painted studies” (Letter no. 427; to Theo, between about 21 and 24 January 1884; probably referring to the present painting and Faille, no. 26). Within a few months Van Gogh completed nearly twenty drawings and watercolors, and seven oil paintings of weavers, including the present canvas. A second group, together with a series of spinners, followed that summer. The slatted wooden looms fascinated Van Gogh; he preferred the oldest pre-industrial examples he could find—some dated from the 18th century. “I’’’’’’’’ll have a lot more hard graft on these looms, but in reality the things are such almighty beautiful affairs... I certainly believe it’’’’’’’’s right that they should be painted” (Letter no. 445; to Theo, 30 April 1884). “Every day I paint studies of the weavers here, which I think are better in technique than the painted studies from Drenthe that I sent you” (Letter no. 428; to Theo, on or about 3 February 1884). The skills that Van Gogh refined while painting this series proved invaluable when he began the two versions of the famous Potato Eaters (Faille, nos. 78 and 82), the masterpieces of his Dutch period, which he completed in April and May 1885.