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

The Enclosed Field at Sunrise

May-June 1889, Saint-Rémy
Oil on canvas, 72 x 93 cm
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo

Catalogue numbers: F 720, JH 1728.

Van Gogh often painted this view from his hospital window at Saint-Rémy, using the window itself as a sort of perspective frame. He had tried to master the laws of correct perspective by reading textbooks on the subject, and in The Hague he had had a perspective frame made to help him in achieving it.

In the present painting the foreground and background do not match. The foreground, painted as if the grass and poppies are immediately beneath our feet, seems to tilt and slide forwards and downwards, thwarting the intended planar recession to the infinitely more distant background. The deviations from traditional geometric systems for representing space, created by van Gogh's unsystematic use of these systems, serve, however, to produce an effect of dynamic space and immediacy.

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