Vincent van Gogh: Wheatfield with Crows

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Wheatfield with Crows
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
Oil on canvas, 50.2 cm × 103 cm (19.9 in × 40.6 in)
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh

“They are endless wheatfields under a cloudy sky, and I have not hesitated to attempt to express sadness and the deepest loneliness”
Vincent van Gogh

This is one of the most famous works of Vincent van Gogh, a somewhat dramatic painting commonly associated with the artist’s suicide, which happened a few weeks later. Contrary to what is commonly thought, it is almost sure that this was not Van Gogh's last painting.

The representation of the wheat fields of Auvers-sur-Oise under different atmospheric conditions was one of Van Gogh’s favorite subjects during the last months of his life. In addition to the famous painting "of the crows", the artist painted "Wheatfield under a stormy sky", in a canvas of the same dimensions as this one, as well as several smaller pictures. But "Wheatfield with Crows" is unique for its vigorous strokes, its dark stormy sky -accentuating the contrast with the yellow wheat- and the presence of the crows, which has given rise to numerous interpretations.

Are the crows a symbol of death? This interpretation is quite accepted today. But in his letters, Van Gogh always spoke of the birds as a symbol of freedom ("please give me the freedom to be a bird like other birds!", he had written in 1880) In this painting, none of the roads seem to lead to an exit from the infinite wheatfields, from where it seems that only the crows can escape. But once again, we must remember that trying to find “symbolic interpretations” in Van Gogh’s paintings is a practice that, although attractive, can lead to unfounded conclusions.

G. Fernández -

Van Gogh - Wheatfield with Crows

"Wheatfield with Crows" - Detail

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