GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)

The Sower

June 1888, Arles
Oil on canvas, 64 x 81 cm
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo

Catalogue numbers: F 422, JH 1470.

The plain of La Crau spreads to the southeast of Arles. It is as flat as van Gogh's native country. La Crau is surrounded on all sides by hills. These offered van Gogh an opportunity to escape the flatland, to withdraw to a greater distance from where he commanded a panoramic view of the whole region. The figure of sower is depicted on the broad plain of La Crau. This painting follows van Gogh's depictions of the harvest, just as in reality the sower does his sowing only when the reaping has been completed and the fields are fallow.

The figure of the sower is quoted from an early drawing by van Gogh in which he was copying Millet.