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

Public Garden with Couple and Blue Fir Tree: The Poet's Garden III

October 1888, Arles
Oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm
Private collection

Catalogue numbers: F 479, JH 1601.

The poet's garden was across from van Gogh's house on the Place Lamartine, a municipal park complete with people out for a stroll and picturesquely clipped bushes and hedges. Van Gogh often used motifs from the park when he felt like acting the part of the plein air painter. Van Gogh conferred the title The Poet's Garden on four paintings. They were intended to adorn Gauguin's room.

In this painting van Gogh positioned the huge blue fir in the centre. The needles of a single twig have an almost monumental quality once seen as a whole tree: just as needles spread so the tree's branches spread; just as a twig may wave in the breeze, so does the whole tree.