GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)
Les AlyscampsNovember 1888, Arles
Oil on canvas, 72 x 91 cm
Catalogue numbers: F 487, JH 1621.
Van Gogh painted four views of Les Alyscamps (to the south of Arles) in October-November 1888, during Gauguin's stay in Arles. The two earlier versions (F 568 and 569) are still in van Gogh's usual style. In these paintings of vertical format the painter takes up his position in the middle of the lane, with its ancient sarcophagi, relics of the time when Les Alyscamps had been the burial ground. The main subjects of the paintings are the trees.
The next two versions (F 486 and 487) clearly betray the influence of Gauguin. The format is horizontal, and the position of the painter is changed moving from the centre to a point further off on the embankment, above the sarcophagi. The spatial qualities of the scene are obscured by the crisscrossing verticals of the tree trunks and the diagonals of the lane.