GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)
Wheat Field with CrowsJuly 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise
Oil on canvas, 50,5 x 103 cm
Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam
Catalogue numbers: F 779, JH 2117.
In this painting van Gogh expressed his darkest premonitions. Critics tend fairly unanimously to detect a sense of menace in the dark birds flying from the horizon towards the foreground. They see the three paths as symbolic of van Gogh's feeling that he had nowhere to go, no way of escape. The whole mood of darkness is reinforced by the stormy sky, which supplies so powerful a contrast to the yellow wheat.
There is no evidence for the widely-held belief that it was this painting that van Gogh had on his easel at the time he killed himself.