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

Reaper with Sickle (after Millet)

September 1889, Saint-Rémy
Oil on canvas, 45 x 34 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Catalogue numbers: F 687, JH 1782.

In autumn and winter 1889–90, while a voluntary patient at the asylum in Saint-Rémy, van Gogh painted twenty-one copies after Millet, an artist he greatly admired. He considered his copies "improvisations" or "translations" akin to a musician's interpretation of a composer's work. He let the black-and-white images — whether prints, reproductions, or a photograph that his brother, Theo, had sent — "pose as subject" then "improvised colour on it."