Vincent Van Gogh

Essay by Dorothy1964University, Bachelor'sA, August 2014

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Dorothy O'Dell

Contemporary Art

July 30, 2014

Week 6 Discussion- Wheatfield with Crows

The painting is turbulent and conveys a sense of loneliness in the fields-- a powerful image of Van Gogh as defeated and solitary artist in his final years. It's amazing to see how a story unfolds telling how Van Gogh felt; the dramatic, cloudy sky filled with crows and the cut-off path as obvious portents of his coming end.

The separate paths in Wheat Field with Crows are indicative with the paths of the past, present, and future of Van Gogh's own life. The paths are comprised of three sets: two in each foreground corner and a third in the middle winding toward the horizon. The left and right foreground paths defy logic in that they seem to originate from nowhere and lead to nowhere. This may be indicative of Van Gogh's own ongoing confusion about the sporadic direction his own life had taken.

The third, middle path has remained the most fertile for symbolic interpretation. It's almost as if the path is an indication of his knowledge of his death and release from the turmoil that he was feeling. The path leading into the sunset indicates to me that he was looking for a glimmer of hope to be able to walk into that sunset and find his true happiness.

From his earliest years as an artist Van Gogh was fond of scenes involving stormy skies. Van Gogh held a great deal of respect for the forces of nature and includes turbulent skies in a number of his works because the subject is so powerful and so full of artistic potential in the face of an empty canvas. As the years passed and Van Gogh's own mental state of well-being became more battered, his perceptions toward...