|Autumn Landscape (October/November 1885) |
by Vincent van Gogh
oil on canvas laid down on panel, 67cm x 88cm
Location: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
I found this painting by Van Gogh interesting for two reasons.
First I'd never ever have guessed it was a painting by Van Gogh. I'm familiar with his drawings from his time in the Netherlands - see Van Gogh: Drawing Landscapes (Making A Mark 14.2.07) but wouldn't immediately connect the style in those drawings to his painting of these trees
However L'Allée en Automne (Autumn Landscape) is a painting in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and is attributed to Van Gogh despite the apparent lack of a signature.
Second, the image of the painting in the Museum is much more subdued than the image on Wikipaintings - which is VERY red. One wonders whether the latter is a copy from a Chinese Art sweatshop or just hyped up in Photoshop to make it look more interesting! I've subdued this image and reproduced it at the top - but to my mind it still looks too red!
I am persuaded that the painting leans towards brown as, to my mind, all Van Gogh's Dutch paintings seem to lean towards brown. This was BEFORE he discovered colour and whoever hyped up the wikipaintings version is probably not aware of how truly sombre his Dutch paintings are. Whether the nature of the colour in his Dutch paintings was an actual colour choice or just a function of the paints he used - which may have lost colour over time - I'm not sure. I rather suspect it might be a combination of the two.
We certainly all need to be aware that the art we see on the Internet is not necessarily the way the art looks in reality. Of course, the image on the Fitzwilliam website could just be unnecessarily dull. If that is indeed the case it certainly wouldn't be the first time I've seen a website image which doesn't look the same as the real thing. However its colour and tone is much more like other Dutch paintings by Van Gogh that I've seen - and I think this image is much likely to be a true representation of what it actually looks like in reality.
Anybody seen the painting in the Fitzwilliam who knows the answer?
Anybody know why Van Gogh wasn't signing his paintings in 1885?
Are you surprised this is a Van Gogh?
For more about Van Gogh see my posts tagged Van Gogh on Making A Mark or my resource site set up when I was doing my project about his work Vincent van Gogh - Resources for Art Lovers