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The role of Van Gogh’s suggestive colour in his decoration canvases for the yellow house Ryan, Maureen 1976

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THE ROLE OF VAN GOGH'S SUGGESTIVE COLOUR IN HIS DECORATION CANVASES FOR THE YELLOW HOUSE by MAUREEN RYAN B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1973. A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master o f A r t s i n the Department of F i n e A r t s We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (c) November, 19 76. Maureen Ryan, 19 76. In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requ i rement s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia , I ag ree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i thout my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f i~~ISU.jp (jLwfc The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date ^ / ^ V ( > P . ABSTRACT In the l a t e summer o f 1888, V i n c e n t van Gogh undertakes t o p a i n t a number of canvases intended t o decorate the Yellow House, h i s r e n t e d accomodation i n A r i e s . Between mid August 1888,when t h i s p r o j e c t i s i n i t i a t e d i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of s h a r i n the Yellow House w i t h Paul Gauguin, and October 23 or 24, 1888, when Gauguin a r r i v e s i n A r i e s from Pont Aven, seventeen s i z e 30 canvases f o r t h i s d e c o r a t i o n are p a i n t e d . In descr-i b i n g two of these canvases to Theo van Gogh, V i n c e n t e x p l i -c i t e l y s t a t e s t h a t much of the meaning of h i s s u b j e c t matter i s to be conveyed by the use of s u g g e s t i v e or e x p r e s s i v e c o l o u r . S e v e r a l o t h e r times d u r i n g the p e r i o d i n which the d e c o r a t i o n i s V i n c e n t ' s major concern, a r e f e r e n c e i s made i n the l e t t e r s t o Theo, to a concern with e x p l o r i n g the sugg-e s t i v e and e x p r e s s i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f c o l o u r . T h i s t h e s i s examines the nature o f V i n c e n t ' s concept of s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r and i t ' s r o l e i n the d e c o r a t i o n canvases f o r the Yellow House As n e i t h e r aspect of t h i s t o p i c have been examined i n the van Gogh l i t e r a t u r e , t h i s t h e s i s i s d i v i d e d i n t o two p a r t s . In P a r t One, the concern with s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r i s shown to have i t ' s r o o t s i n Nuenen i n 1884 and 1885 where V i n c e n t was i n t r o d u c e d to s e v e r a l a r t t e x t s t h a t a t t r i b u t e d the impact c f D e l a c r o i x ' p a i n t i n g s to h i s understanding ' i i o f the c o l o u r laws, i n p a r t i c u l a r the v a r i o u s e f f e c t s achieved through the j u x t a p o s i t i o n or admixture of complementary c o l o u r s . An a n a l y s i s o f V i n c e n t ' s w r i t i n g s a t t h i s time shows t h a t he gi v e s a symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e t o h i s use of complementary admixtures and uses such c o l o u r s t o convey a p a r t i c u l a r aspect of h i s s u b j e c t matter. While V i n c e n t ' s p a l e t t e and technique change r a d i c a l l y i n P a r i s and A r i e s due to V i n c e n t ' s c o n t a c t with impressionism and neoimpressionism and the exaggerated c o l o u r e f f e c t s o f the Japanese p r i n t , the re-emergence of a concern w i t h the sugg e s t i v e p r o p e r t i e s o f c o l o u r which i s announced i n the e a r l y summer of 18 88, i s based t o a l a r g e extent on the s i g n i f i c a n c e g i v e n t o complementary r e l a t i o n s h i p s formed i n , s-Nuenen. An a n a l y s i s o f the c o l o u r s t r u c t u r e s i n s e v e r a l canvases executed i n J u l y and e a r l y August of 1888, i n l i g h t o f the s p e c i a l r o l e g i v e n to complementary r e l a t i o n -ships, shows t h a t V i n c e n t intended h i s use of complementary c o l o u r s t o convey much o f the meaning o f h i s images. P a r t Two examines the d e c o r a t i o n canvases f o r the Yellow House. A study o f V i n c e n t ' s l e t t e r s r e v e a l s the Yellow House as an e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n o f a s t u d i o i n the south t h a t would g i v e asylum and refuge t o a r t i s t s i n need. Th i s s t u d i o was to pr o v i d e f o r a r t i s t s o f the presen t and the f u t u r e , a s V i n c e n t sees h i s own r o l e as a p a i n t e r as a l i n k i n a c h a i n of a r t i s t s working w i t h c o l o u r . By e s t a b l i s h i n g a s t u d i o t h a t i s to remove the t h r e a t o f poverty and ha r d s h i p i i i 1 from a r t i s t i c l i f e V i n c e n t hoped to c r e a t e a s t a b l e and serene environment, e n a b l i n g a r t i s t s t o work p r o d u c t i v e l y / i n t u r n e f f e c t i n g an a r t i s t i c r e n a i s s a n c e and a new a r t o f c o l o u r . Examined i n d i v i d u a l l y w i t h i n t h i s - context s e v e r a l of the d e c o r a t i o n canvases are shown t o r e f e r t o ijhi.s v i s i o n , s uggesting a thematic l i n k f o r the s e r i e s as a whole. Sugg-e s t i v e c o l o u r continues as a major concern d u r i n g the p e r i o d i n which the d e c o r a t i o n canvases are p a i n t e d . V i n c e n t sees complementary harmonies and c o n t r a s t s as able to convey " l ' i d e e s p o e t i q u e s " and uses such c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n s e v e r a l of the canvases o f the s e r i e s t o convey important aspects of meaning. The d e c o r a t i o n f o r the Yellow House thus emerges as a c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n of V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n o f an asso-c i a t i o n of a r t i s t s working towards a r e n a i s s a n c e , and as a major e f f o r t t o formulate an e x p r e s s i v e a r t i n the summer and f a l l of 1888. Both aspects e s t a b l i s h the s e r i e s as an important development i n the e v o l u t i o n o f V i n c e n t ' s a r t and theory. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE LIST OF PLATES . v i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT . v i i INTRODUCTION 1 PART ONE: THE ROLE OF COLOUR 1883 - 1888. CHAPTER I. THE INTRODUCTION TO COLOUR THEORY AND EXPRESSIVE COLOUR IN NUENEN 11 I I . THE CHANGE IN PALETTE AND TECHNIQUE IN PARIS 31 I I I . THE MOVEMENT TOWARD EXAGGERATED COLOUR AT ARLES 44 IV. THE RE-EMERGENCE OF SUGGESTIVE COLOUR IN JULY AND AUGUST, 1888 66 The Sower, F. 422.. 66 The Zouave, F. 423 75 The Bridge a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F. 426. . .80 The P o r t r a i t o f P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F. 443 82 PART TWO: THE DECORATION CANVASES FOR THE YELLOW HOUSE V. THE CONCEPT OF THE YELLOW HOUSE 88 VI. THE DECORATION CANVASES 97 The Sunflowers, F. 454 and F. 456. . . .97 The Night Cafe, F. 463 104 The Poets Garden, F. 468, and F. 1465.. I l l V DECORATION CANVASES cont'd. PAGE The Furrows, F. 574 127 The S t a r r y Night, F. 474 133 The Vineyard, F. 475 141 The House, F. 464 145 The Tarascon D i l l i g e n c e , F. 478a 151 The Autumn Gardens, F. 470, F. 566 or F. 472 156 The Iron B r i d g e a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F. 481, and The Railway Bridge, F. 480..161 The Poet's Garden, F. 479 and F. 485. . 165 The Bedroom, F. 4 82 173 CONCLUSION 181 FOOTNOTES 190 BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . 252 PLATES 25 8 v i L I S T OF PLATES PLATE 1. V a s e w i t h T w e l v e S u n f l o w e r s , F. 456. 2. V a s e w i t h F o u r t e e n S u n f l o w e r s , F. 454 3. The N i g h t Cafe', F. 463. 4. The P o e t ' s G a r d e n , F. 46 8. 5. The P o e t ' s G a r d e n , F. 1465. 6. The F u r r o w s , F. 574. 7. The S t a r r y N i g h t , F. 4 74. 8. The V i n e y a r d , F. 4 75. 9. The House, F. 464. 10. The T a r a s c o n D i l i g e n c e , F. 478a. 11. The C e d a r Walk, F. 4 70. 12. The E n t r a n c e t o t h e P u b l i c G a r d e n , F. 566. 13. The P u b l i c G a r d e n , F. 472. 14. The I r o n B r i d g e a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F. 481. 15. The R a i l w a y B r i d g e , F. 4 80. 16. The P o e t ' s G a r d e n , F. 479. 17. The P o e t ' s G a r d e n , F. 4 85. 18. The Bedroom, F. 482. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would l i k e to thank P r o f e s s o r George Rosenberg, Department of Fi n e A r t s , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, f o r the c a r e f u l and u s e f u l c r i t i c i s m s o f f e r e d throughout the w r i t i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s . 1 INTRODUCTION In l e t t e r 526, (c.21 August, 1888)} V i n c e n t van Gogh w r i t e s t o h i s b r o t h e r Theo to l e t him know t h a t he has j u s t 2 r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r from Paul Gauguin i n Pont Aven. V i n c e n t understands t h i s l e t t e r as an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t Gauguin i s w i l l i n g t o j o i n him i n A r i e s . Je t ' e c r i s b i e n a l a hate, mais pour te d i r e que je v i e n s de r e c e v o i r un mot de Gauguin, q u i d i t q u ' i l n'a pas e c r i t beau-coup, mais se d i t t o u j o u r s p r e t a v e n i r dans l e m i d i , a u s s i t S t que l e chance l e permettra. (526) The concept of j o i n i n g w i t h Gauguin had concerned V i n c e n t s i n c e the s p r i n g of 1888 when Gauguin had w r i t t e n t o Theo d e s c r i b i n g h i s poor f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n a t Pont Aven, and had asked f o r 3 some a s s i s t a n c e . Upon h e a r i n g of Gauguins p l i g h t , no doubt i n a l e t t e r from Theo, V i n c e n t had suggested to h i s b r o t h e r , i n l e t t e r 493 ,(c. 5 June, 1888), and to Gauguin i n l e t t e r 4 9 4 a , (c. 5 June, 1888), t h a t Gauguin and h i m s e l f share both accom-o d a t i o n i n A r i e s , and the support money t h a t Theo was sending 4 to V i n c e n t . The accomodation i n A r i e s was to be the Yellow 5 House t h a t V i n c e n t had r e n t e d i n May of 188 8, which he planned both to l i v e i n and to use as a s t u d i o . Gauguin appears to have been slow t o respond d e f i n i t e l y t o t h i s p r o p o s a l t h a t he 7 j o i n V i n c e n t i n the south of France; I t i s no doubt on t h i s account t h a t V i n c e n t responds so e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y i n l e t t e r 526, 2 (c. 21 August, 1888) to the p r o s p e c t of Gauguin coming to A r i e s . V i n c e n t informs Theo i n t h i s l e t t e r t h a t i n the hope of l i v i n g i n h i s s t u d i o with Gauguin , he plans t o p a i n t a d e c o r a t i o n of 8 sunflowers, t h a t w i l l u l t i m a t e l y comprise twelve canvases. He i s a l r e a d y at work, i t i s e x p l a i n e d , on t h r e e such canvases. Je s u i s en t r a i n de peindre avec 1"entrain d'un M a r s e i l l a i s mangeant l a b c c u i l l a b a i s e , ce q u i ne t'etonnera pas l o r s q u ' i l s ' a g i t de peindre des grands T o u r n e s o l s . J ' a i t r o i s t o i l e s en t r a i n . . . . Dans l ' e s p o i r de v i v r e dans un a t e l i e r a nous avec G.(Gauguin), j e v o u d r a i s f a i r e une de'coration pour 1 ' a t e l i e r . Rien que des grands T o u r n e s o l s . . . . E n f i n s i j'execute ce p l a n , i l y aura une douzaine de panneaux. Le t o u t s e r a une symfonie/en b l e u et jaune done. (526) A t o t a l of f o u r sunflower canvases are p a i n t e d i n the l a s t weeks of August. The f i r s t three are d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 526, (c.21 August, 1888). J ' a i t r o i s t o i l e s e n t r a i n . 1).3 grosses f l e u r s dans une vase v e r t , fond c l a i r , t o i l e de 15; 2) 3 f l e u r s , une f l e u r en semence e t e f f e u i l l e e e t un bouton sur fond, bleu; de. r o i , t o i l e de 25; 3) douze f l e u r s e t boutons dans un vase jaune ( t o i l e de 30). Le d e r n i e r e s t done c l a i r sur c l a i r e t sera l e m e i l l e u r j ' e'spere. (526) The three sunflower canvases d e s c r i b e d here correspond to,Vase 9 with Three Sunflowers, F.453, .Vase-with F i v e Sunflowers, F.459/ and Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, F.456. While V i n c e n t e r r o n -eo u s l y d e s c r i b e s the s i z e s ' ^ of the Vase w i t h Three Sunflowers, F.453, and Vase w i t h F i v e Sunflowers, F.459'}''" the Vase w i t h  F i v e Sunflowers, F.456, i s c o r r e c t l y d e s c r i b e d a s i z e 30 canvas. A f o u r t h sunflower canvas i s d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 527,(0.22 August, 1 8 8 8 ) a n d 5 2 8 , ( 0 . 26 A u g u s t , 1888) 1 2 M a i n t e n a n t j ' e n s u i s a u q u a t r i e m e t a b l e a u de t o u r n e s o l s . Ce q u a t r i e m e e s t un b o u q u e t de q u a t o r z e f l e u r s e t e s t s u r f o n d j a u n e . . . . (527) . . . i l y a un nouveau b o u q u e t de q u a t o r z e f l e u r s s u r f o n d j a u n e v e r t . . . t o i l e de 30 ... . (528) T h i s c a n v a s c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e s i z e 3 0 c a n v a s , V a s e w i t h F o u r t e e n S u n f l o w e r s , F.454. Between t h e announcement o f t h e d e c o r a t i o n p r o j e c t i n l e t t e r , 5 2 6 , ( c . 21 A u g u s t , 1888), and G a u g u i n s a r r i v a l i n 13 A r i e s on t h e 23 o r 24 O c t o b e r , 1888, t h e c o n c e p t and p l a n o f t h e d e c o r a t i o n c a n v a s e s change s e v e r a l t i m e s . I n i t i a l l y , i n t h e f i r s t l e t t e r s t h a t d i s c u s s t h e s u n f l o w e r c a n v a s e s ?: as ? a 14 d e c o r a t i o n , V i n c e n t i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e s e c a n v a s e s a r e f o r " 1 " a t e l i e r " , and he d o e s n o t i n d i c a t e w h e t h e r he means by t h i s t e r m a s p e c i f i c s t u d i o a r e a , o r t h e house as a w h o l e . However, by t h e b e g i n n i n g o f the. s e c o n d week i n September i t i s c l e a r t h a t he i n t e n d s some s i x s u n f l o w e r c a n v a s e s t o hang i n t h e g u e s t room o f t h e Y e l l o w House, t h e room V i n c e n t hopes G a u g u i n w i l l s t a y i n i f he comes t o A r i e s . Thus t o Theo i n l e t t e r 534, (9 September, 1888), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s , L a chambre ou a l o r s t u l o g e r a s , ou q u i s e r a a G a u g u i n , s i G. v i e n n e , a u r a s u r l e s murs b l a n c s une d e c o r a t i o n des g r a n d e s t o u r n e s o l s j a u n e s . ... M a i s t u v e r r a s c e s g r a n d t a b l e a u x des b o u q u e t s de 12, de 14 t o u r n e s o l s , f o u r r e s dans ce t o u t p e t i t b o u d o i r a v e c un l i t j o l i , a v e c t o u t l e r e s t e e l e ' g a n t . (534) 4 In l e t t e r W7 (9 and 16 September, 1888), V i n c e n t a l s o d e s c r i b e s how the guest room i s to be decorated with sunflowers. Dans ce moment j e s u i s en t r a i n de meubler 1 ' a t e l i e r de fagon a pouvoir t o u j o u r s l o g e r quelqu'un. Car i l y a deux p e t i t e s p i e c e s en haut....Une de ces p i e c e s j e l ' a r r a n g e r a i pour l o g e r un ami.... Dans c e t t e toute p e t i t e p i e c e j e veux, a' l a japonais,, f o u r r e r a_u moins 6>tres grarides t b i l e s , s u r t o u t l e s enormes bouquets de tournesols'. (W7) By the beginning of the second week i n September then, with f o u r sunflower canvases completed,"'""' the p l a n f o r a dozen sunflower canvases i s a l t e r e d to a s e r i e s of s i x canvases which are to decorate Gauguin's room. At the same time, i n l e t t e r s 534 ,(9 September, 1888), and W7 , ( 9 and 16 September, 1888):, V i n c e n t a l s o i n d i c a t e s t h a t he p l a n s a d e c o r a t i o n of p o r t r a i t s . To W i l , i n W7 f(9 and 16 September, 1888), he e x p l a i n s t h a t he intends to p a i n t p o r t r a i t s , and s t u d i e s w i t h f i g u r e s f o r h i s bedroom. Une de ces p i e c e s j e l ' a r r a n g e r a i pour l o g e r un ami e t 1 1 autre s e r a pour moi. La j e veux r i e n que des c h a i s e s de p a i l l e e t une t a b l e e t un l i t en b o i s b l a n c . Mais j'y veux un grand luxe de p o r t r a i t s e t d'e'tudes p e i n t e s de f i g u r e s que j e compte f a i r e au f u r e t a mesure. (W7) To Theo i n l e t t e r 534, (9 September, 1888) V i n c e n t a s s i g n s a d e c o r a t i o n of p o r t r a i t s to the s t u d i o of the Yellow House. E t 1 ' a t e l i e r , l e carreaux .rouges du s o l , l e s murs et l e p l a f o n d b l a n c , l e s c h a i s e s paysannes, l e t a b l e en b o i s b l a n c , avec j'espere d e c o r a t i o n de p o r t r a i t s . (534) 5 O v e r t h e f o l l o w i n g weeks V i n c e n t r e f e r s f r e q u e n t l y t o h i s p l a n t o p a i n t a g r o u p o f c a n v a s e s r e f e r r e d t o as " l a d e c -17 o r a t i o n , " t h a t w i l l have a f i n a n c i a l w o r t h o f 10,000 f r a n c s , and as w,ell, w i l l be a body o f work t h a t c o u l d be e x h i b i t e d i n 18 1889. H o w e v e r , t h e r e i s no f u r t h e r i n d i c a t i o n i n t h e e x i s t i n g l e t t e r s t o Theo as t o what t h i s g r o u p o f p a i n t i n g s f o r t h e de-19 c o r a t i o n w i l l c o m p r i s e i n t e r m s o f s u b j e c t m a t t e r o r c o n t e n t . I t i s o n l y i n l e t t e r 552,(13 O c t o b e r , 1 8 8 8 ) , t h a t V i n c e n t i d e n t i f i e s f i f t e e n s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s , p a i n t e d i n t h e p r e c e d i n g 20 weeks, as c o m p r i s i n g t h e d e c o r a t i o n f o r t h e Y e l l o w House. I n t h i s l e t t e r , f o l l o w i n g a d e s c r i p t i o n o f f i v e s i z e 3o c a n v a s e s t h a t he has j u s t r e c e n t l y c o m p l e t e d , V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s , C ' e s t c i n q t o i l e s que j ' a i m i s e s en t r a i n c e t t e s e m a i n e , c e l a p o r t e j e c r o i s a q u i n z e l e nombre de c e s t o i l e s de 30 p o u r l a d e c o r -a t i o n . 2 t o i l e s de t o u r n e s o l s 3 - de j a r d i n du p o e t e 2 - a u t r e j a r d i n 1 - c a f e ' du n u i t 1 - P o n t de T r i n q u e t a i l l e 1 - P o n t du chemin de f e r 1 - l a m a i s o n 1 - l a d i l i g e n c e , de T a r a s c o n 1 - l a n u i t e t o i l e e 1 - l e s s i l l o n s 1 - l a v i g n e (552) V i n c e n t s ' d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s i n t h i s l e t t e r c o r r e s p o n d t o t h e f o l l o w i n g s u b j e c t s p a i n t e d i n t h e p r e v i o u s weeks. ^ "2 t o i l e s de t o u r n e s o l s " - V a s e w i t h T w e l v e S u n f l o w e r s F.456, 91 X 71 cm. ( p l a t e 1) V a s e w i t h F o u r t e e n S u n f l o w e r s F.454, 93 X 73 cm. ( p l a t e 2) de j a r d i n du p o e t e " - The P o e t s ' G a r d e n , F.468, 73 X 92 cm. " ( p l a t e 4) - The P o e t s ' G a r d e n , c a n v a s l o s t , and r e p r e s e n t e d o n l y by t h e d r a w i n g F.1465. ( p l a t e 5 ) . - The P o e t s ' G a r d e n , F. 479, 73 X 92 cm. ( p l a t e 16) a u t r e j a r d i n " c a f e de n u i t " two c a n v a s e s o f t h e f o l l o w i n g t h r e e : The C e d a r Walk, F.4 70,, 73 X 92 cm. ( p l a t e 11) The E n t r a n c e t o t h e P u b l i c Garden, F.566, 72.5 X 91 cm ( p l a t e 12) The P u b l i c G a r d e n ,F.4 72 72 X 93 cm. ( p l a t e 13) The N i g h t C a f e , F. 46 3, 70 X 89 cm. ( p l a t e 3 ) . P o n t de T r i n q u e - •. t a i l l e " The I r o n B r i d g e a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F.481, 73.5 X 92.5 cm. ( p l a t e 14) P o n t du chemin de f e r " - The R a i l w a y B r i d g e , F . 480, 71 X92 cm. ( p l a t e 15) l a m a i s o n " - The House ,F. 464, 94 X 76 cm. ( p l a t e 9) l a d i l i g e n c e T a r a s c o n " l a n u i t e t o i l e e ' l e s s i l l o n s " The T a r a s c o n D i l i g e n c e , F. 478, 72 X 92 cm. ( p l a t e 10) The S t a r r y N i g h t , F. 474, 72.5 X 92 cm. ( p l a t e 7 ) . The F u r r o w s , F. 574/ 72.5 X 92 cm. ( p l a t e 6-) • 1 l e s v i g n e s " - The V i n e y a r d , F.475, 72 X 92 cm. ( p l a t e 8 ) . 7 Two more s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s a r e added t o t h e d e c o r a t i o n o f t h e Y e l l o w House p r i o r t o G a u g u i n ' s a r r i v a l on O c t o b e r 2 3 r d , o f 2 4 t h , 188 8. I n l e t t e r 554,(16 O c t o b e r , 1 8 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s a s i z e 30 c a n v a s , The Bedroom, F. 482 ,72 X 90 cm., ( p l a t e 1 8 ) , and i n l e t t e r B22,(17 O c t o b e r , 1888), t o G a u g u i n , i t i s e x p l a i n e d t h a t t h i s c a n v a s i s a l s o f o r t h e d e c o r a t i o n o f t h e h o u s e . I n l e t t e r 556 ,( 21 o r 22 O c t o b e r , 1888) w r i t t e n j u s t p r i o r t o G a u g u i n ' s 22 a r r i v a l , a f o u r t h c a n v a s o f t h e P o e t s ' G a r d e n s e r i e s , F.4 85, 75 X 9 2 cm., ( p l a t e 1 7 ) , i s added t o t h e d e c o r a t i o n scheme f o r G a u g u i n ' s room. By t h e t i m e o f G a u g u i n s a r r i v a l i n A r i e s , on O c t o b e r 23 o r 24, 1 8 8 8 , s e v e n t e e n s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s a r e d e s c r i b e d as c o m p r i s i n g t h e d e c o r a t i o n f o r t h e Y e l l o w House. V i n c e n t s c o n c e r n w i t h t h e c a n v a s e s f o r t h e d e c o r a t i o n o f t h e Y e l l o w House c o i n c i d e s w i t h an i m p o r t a n t d e v e l o p m e n t i n h i s a r t . I n l e t t e r 520;(11 A u g u s t , 1888) w r i t t e n l e s s t h a n two weeks p r i o r t o t h e announcement o f t h e p l a n f o r a d e c o r a t i o n o f 23 c a n v a s e s , V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t a change i s t a k i n g p l a c e i n h i s a r t , as he i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h e x p r e s s i n g h i m s e l f f o r c i b l y t h r o u g h h i s u s e o f c o l o u r . T h i s change i s f o r m u l a t e d as a r e j e c t ' . t i o n o f an i m p r e s s i o n i s t v i s i o n i n f a v o u r o f c o n c e p t s h e l d p r i o r -•• t o t h e P a r i s p e r i o d , and, " l e s •ide'es de D e l a c r o i x . " I l y a s e u l e m e n t que j e t r o u v e que c e que j ' a i a p p r i s a P a r i s s'en v a e t que j e r e v i e n s a mes i d ^ e s q u i m ' e t a i e n t v e n n e s , a v a n t de c o n n a i t r e l e s i m p r e s s i o n i s t e s . E t j e s e r a i s , peu e t o n n e , s i s o u s p e u l e s i m p r e s s i o n i s t e s t r o u v e r a i e n t a r e d i r e s u r ma f a g o n de f a i r e , q u i a p l u t o t e t e f e c o n d e e p a r l e s ide'es de D e l a c r o i x , que p a r i e s l e u r s . C a r au l i e u de c h e r c h e r a r e n d r e ; 8 exactement ce que j ' a i devant l e s yeux, je me sers de l a cou l e u r p l u s a r b i t r a i r e m e n t pour m'exprimer fortement. (520) In l e t t e r 526, (c. 21 August, 1888), t h a t announces the d e c o r a t i o n , r e f e r e n c e i s made t o the r e j e c t i o n o f i m p r e s s i o n i s t technique. Seulement j e commence de p l u s en p l u s a chercher une technique simple, q u i peut-£tre n'est pas i m p r e s s i o n i s t e . Je vo u d r a i s peindre de facon, qu'a l a r i g e u r t o u t l e monde q u i a des yeux, p u i s s e y v o i r c l a i r . (526) While V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s i n h i s f o l l o w i n g l e t t e r , 527, (c. 22 August, 1888),that what he means by a simple technique i s the use o f a t h i c k impasto and ,"un t r a v a i l de l a brosse sans p o i n t i l l e ou au t r e chose, r i e n que l a touche v a r i e e " , the l i n k between V i n c e n t ' s new and simple technique, and h i s move-ment toward e x p r e s s i v e and exaggerated c o l o u r i s suggested i n l e t t e r 539, (18 September, 1888). Here V i n c e n t observes t h a t although the p a i n t i n g technique o f the n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t s Seurat and Signac i s both new and i n t e r e s t i n g , he h i m s e l f i s t u r n i n g toward a sugg e s t i v e use o f c o l o u r . Again t h i s development i s ex p l a i n e d as a r e t u r n t o concerns a t work i n Nuenen p r i o r t o the P a r i s p e r i o d ; the a r t i s t M o n t i c e l l i as w e l l as D e l a c r o i x i s c i t e d as a p r e c u r s o r i n t h i s f i e l d . Qui f a i t S e u r a t . . . j e r e f l e c h i s souvent a son systeme e t t o u t e f o i s j e ne l e s u i v r a i pas du t o u t , mais l u i e s t c o l o r i s t e o r i g n a l e e t c ' e s t l a meme chose pour Signac, mais a un autre degre, l e s p o i n t i l l e u r s A o n t trouve du neuf e t j e l e s aime t o u t de meme b i e n . Mais moi - j e l e d i s franchement - j e r e v i e n s p l u t o t a ce que j e c h e r c h a i s avant de v e n i r a P a r i s , e t j e ne s a i s s i quelqu'un avant moi a i t parle' de .couleur 9 _ s u g g e s t i v e , mais D e l a c r o i x e t M o n t i c e l l i t o u t en ayant pas p a r l e , 1'ont f a i t e . Mais moi j e s u i s encore comme j ' e t a i s a Nuenen, lor s q u e j ' a i f a i t un v a i n e f f o r t pour apprendre l a musique, a l o r s d e j a t e n e -ment j e s e n t a i s l e s r a p p o r t s q u ' i l y a e n t r e notre c o u l e u r e t l a musique de Wagner. (539) The passages above i n d i c a t e t h a t a t the time when the d e c o r a t i o n canvases f o r the Yellow House were a major focus f o r V i n c e n t , he was a l s o concerned w i t h a concept of s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r , and w i t h the f o r m u l a t i o n o f a new p a i n t i n g technique. T h i s t h e s i s s t u d i e s the nature of V i n c e n t ' s concept of s u g g e s t i v e 24 c o l o u r , and i t ' s r e l a t i o n to the d e c o r a t i o n canvases f o r the Yellow House. To examine t h i s t o p i c t h i s t h e s i s has been d i v i d e d i n t o two p a r t s . In.Part One comprised of f o u r c h a p t e r s , Vincerij:.'s concern with c o l o u r from 1883-1888 i s surveyed. Chapter I examines the e x p r e s s i v e power given to c o l o u r and t o complement-ary c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n Nuenen,f. (November 1883-November 1885), as V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s i n the summer and f a l l o f 1888 t h a t h i s concept o f suggestive and e x p r e s s i v e c o l o u r d e r i v e s from ideas formed a t t h i s time. Chapter I I surveys V i n c e n t s i n t r o d u c t i o n to a p a l e t t e based on h i g h - v a l u e d and pure hues and a new technique f o r r e n d e r i n g l i g h t and c o l o u r i n P a r i s , (March 1886-February 1888). Chapter I I I surveys the implementation o f exaggerated c o l o u r e f f e c t s i n A r i e s , (February 1888- J u l y 1888), important to V i n c e n t ' s concern with e x p r e s s i v e c o l o u r i n the summer and f a l l o f 188 8. In Chapter IV the re-emergence o f a 10 concern w i t h s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r i n f o u r canvases o f J u l y and August, 1888, i s shown to be based on the s i g n i f i c a n c e g i v e n t o complementary c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s f i r s t formed i n Nuenen, but adapted to the concern w i t h exaggerated c o l o u r e f f e c t s developed over the preceeding months i n A r i e s . P a r t Two, comprised o f two c h a p t e r s , s t u d i e s the d e c o r a t i o n f o r the Yellow House. Chapter V o u t l i n e s V i n c e n t ' s concept of the Yellow House, as a s t u d i o i n the south t h a t w i l l c a r r y on the work of p a s t g e n e r a t i o n s o f c o l o u r i s t s , g i v e refuge t o a r t i s t s o f the p r e s e n t , and thus e f f e c t a f u t u r e a r t of c o l o u r . Chapter VI examines the i n d i v i d u a l canvases f o r the d e c o r a t i o n and the r e l a t i o n s h i p of c o l o u r , technique, and s u b j e c t matter to the intended meaning of each. Two important aspects emerge from t h i s examination. F i r s t , the d e c o r a t i o n canvases have not been s t u d i e d as i n d i v i d u a l canvases b e l o n g i n g to the d e c o r a t i o n s e r i e s , or as 25 a group. In terms of s u b j e c t matter and theme alone, s e v e r a l of these canvases, when s e t w i t h i n the context of V i n c e n t ' s concept of the Yellow House, take on new meanings. Second, a l l the canvases i n terms o f t h e i r use of exaggerated c o l o u r and a s p e c i a l technique, a l l u d e t o the v i s i o n of a new a r t o f c o l o u r c e n t e r e d i n the south. Suggestive colour,shown to be a concern throughout the p e r i o d i n which the d e c o r a t i o n i s p a i n t e d , and at work i n s e v e r a l of the i n d i v i d u a l canvas, r e v e a l s the way i n which V i n c e n t sought to express important aspects of s u b j e c t and theme. The d e c o r a t i o n thus emerges both as a s e r i e s t h a t r e f l e c t s the aims of V i n c e n t ' s s t u d i o i n the south, and as a major e f f o r t on V i n c e n t ' s p a r t t o develop an e x p r e s s i v e a r t p r i o r t o Gauguin's a r r i v a l i n A r i e s . 2 6 10 a PART ONE THE ROLE OF COLOUR 1883 - 1888. 11 •~ , ,. CHAPTER I THE INTRODUCTION TO .COLOUR THEORY AND EXPRESSIVE COLOUR IN NUENEN-I n September o f 1883 V i n c e n t l e f t t h e Hague f o r t h e remote 27 p r o v i n c e o f D r e n t h e t o immerse h i m s e l f i n p a i n t i n g . A t t h i s t i m e , i n l e t t e r 332 , ( c . 12 O c t o b e r , 1883), i n a p a s s a g e t h a t a p p e a r s t o have been p r o m p t e d by a r e f e r e n c e i n one o f T h e o ' s o l e t t e r s t o t h e German p a i n t e r o f r u r a l l a b o u r e r s , Max L i e b e r m a n n , V i n c e n t i n d i c a t e s h i s c o n c e p t o f c o l o u r i n p a i n t i n g . You w r i t e t o me a b o u t L i e b e r m a n n : h i s p a l e t t e c o n s i s t s o f s l a t e g r a y t o n e s , p r i n c i p a l l y r u n n i n g f r o m brown t o y e l l o w -i s h g r a y . I have n e v e r s e e n a n y t h i n g o f h i s b u t now t h a t I have s e e n t h e l a n d s c a p e h e r e , I c a n u n d e r s t a n d p e r f e c t l y how l o g i c a l l y he i s l e a d t o i t . . . i f I m y s e l f f i n d what I s e e k . . . I s h a l l c e r t a i n l y o f t e n do i t i n t h e same way, i n t h a t c h r o m a t i c gamut. M i n d y o u t o see i t l i k e t h a t , one must n o t l o o k a t t h e l o c a l c o l o u r by i t s e l f , b u t i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e c o l o u r o f t h e s k y . T h a t s k y i s g r a y — b u t so i r i d e s c e n t t h a t e v e n o u r p u r e w h i t e w o u l d be u n a b l e -t o r e n d e r t h i s l i g h t and s u n s h i n e . Now i f one b e g i n s by p a i n t i n g t h i s s k y g r a y , t h u s r e m a i n i n g f a r b e l o w t h e i n t e n s i t y o f n a t u r e , how much more n e c e s s a r y i t i s t o t o n e down t h e brown and y e l l o w i s h g r a y s o f t h e s o i l t o a l o w e r k e y . (332) I n t h i s p a s s a g e a p r e v a l e n t use o f c o l o u r i n n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y 29 p a i n t i n g i s o u t l i n e d . By r e c r e a t i n g a s c a l e o f c o l o u r s t h a t a p p e a r s i n n a t u r e i n a l o w e r v a l u e d s c a l e , an a r t i s t i s a b l e t o r e n d e r t h e l i g h t and d a r k c o n t r a s t s o f a s c e n e w h i l e a t t h e 12 same time m a i n t a i n i n g a u n i f i e d t o n a l harmony throughout the c a n v a s . ^ Within t h i s c ontext V i n c e n t ' s own p r e f e r e n c e i s f o r a low valued brown t o n a l scheme as he i n d i c a t e s i n l e t t e r 36 8, (c. 15 May, 1884), when he d e s c r i b e s h i s own work. ...you w i l l not f i n d the s i l v e r y tones i n my work done here, but r a t h e r brown ones (bitumen f o r i n s t a n c e , and b i s t e r ) , which I do not doubt some people w i l l disapprove o f . _ 1 (368) •ril A p r e f e r e n c e f o r such a p a l e t t e i s c e r t a i n l y i n l i n e w i t h the c o l o u r scheme of the two peasant p a i n t e r s whom V i n c e n t 32 g r e a t l y admired at t h i s time, M i l l e t and I s r a e l s . Indeed, V i n c e n t r e l a t e s t o Theo i n l e t t e r 371, (beginning o f June, 1884), t h a t he had heard t h a t I s r a e l s h i m s e l f recommended a low valued c o l o u r scheme. When I was i n the Hague, I heard t h i n g s I s r a e l s had s a i d about s t a r t i n g w i t h a deep c o l o u r scheme, thus making even r e -l a t i v e l y dark c o l o u r s seem l i g h t . In sh o r t t o express l i g h t by opposing i t to b l a c k . (371) V i n c e n t ' s w r i t t e n o b s e r v a t i o n s o f the c o u n t r y s i d e around Drenthe i n d i c a t e t h a t he tended t o look a t both f i g u r e s and landscape around him i n terms of s t r o n g l i g h t and dark c o n t r a s t s . In l e t t e r 330, (c. mid October, 1883), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s a sketch he has made of dark f i g u r e s t h a t are s i l h o u e t t e d , ^ a g a i n s t the v i b r a t i n g evening sky." A s i m i l a r e f f e c t i s d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 331 (c. 6 or 7 October, 1883). There are other c o n t r a s t s of b l a c k and white here. For i n s t a n c e , a c a n a l w i t h white sandy banks across a p i t c h b l a c k p l a i n . In the above sketch (a sketch of a p e a t f i e l d i s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o V i n c e n t ' s l e t t e r ) , you see i t too, b l a c k f i g u r e s 13 a g a i n s t a white s k y . . . l i t t l e b l a c k f i g u r e s spreading l i n e n out to b l e a c h . (331) In l e t t e r 340, (16 November, 1883), a woman a t a s p i n n i n g wheel i s d e s c r i b e d to support V i n c e n t ' s c o n c l u s i o n t h a t , "everywhere i s the c o n t r a s t of dark and white". When, f o l l o w i n g V i n c e n t ' s move to Nuenen i n November of 188 3 a major p i c t o r i a l theme i s p r o v i d e d by the l o c a l weavers, V i n c e n t ' s focus on t h i s s u b j e c t 33 matter from January to J u l y 1884 i l l u s t r a t e s a continued m a n i p u l a t i o n of s i m i l a r l i g h t and dark c o n t r a s t e f f e c t s to i s o l a t e d e f i n e , and g i v e c h a r a c t e r to h i s s u b j e c t s . In the canvases p a i n t e d d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , dark f i g u r e s o f weavers at t h e i r looms are s e t a g a i n s t d a y l i t windows or l a m p l i g h t ; i n one case a 34 weaver and loom are s e t a g a i n s t a white i n t e r i o r w a l l . I t i s important to emphasize t h a t V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n a t t h i s time i s based 35 on such low valued t o n a l schemes t h a t implement these l i g h t a g a i n s t dark c o n t r a s t s . In the l a t e s p r i n g of 1884 when V i n c e n t i s f i r s t i n t r o d u c e d to the use o f complementary c o l o u r c o n t r a s t s and harmonies, t h i s concern p r o v i d e s the framework w i t h i n which h i s new knowledge o f c o l o u r i s i n t e r p r e t e d and a p p l i e d . In l e t t e r 370, (beginning of June, 1884), V i n c e n t announces to Theo t h a t he i s r e a d i n g C h a r l e s B l a n c ' s , A r t i s t e s de mon temps. 37 Blanc, a t one time a d i r e c t o r of E c o l e des Beaux A r t s , p u b l i s h e d 38 s e v e r a l works on a r t h i s t o r y and a r t theory d u r i n g h i s c a r e e r . His A r t i s t e s de mon temps, i s composed of f i f t e e n chapters each 39 devoted to a f r e n c h a r t i s t o f the nineteen century. I t i s the chapter on D e l a c r o i x , whom Blanc ~ knew p e r s o n a l l y c i d u r i n g the l a s t 40 years of t h e * a r t i s t & s = l i f e , - t h a t V i n c e n t c i t e s ; t o Theo i n 14 l e t t e r 3 7 0 , ( b e g i n n i n g o f J u n e , 1 8 8 4 ) . V i n c e n t q u o t e s d i r e c t l y f r o m B l a n c ' s a c c o u n t o f an i n c i d e n t s e t i n t h e L o u v r e t h r e e months p r i o r t o D e l a c r o i x ' s d e a t h . B l a n c r e l a t e s how D e l a c r o i x has o v e r h e a r d B l a n c ' s o b s e r v a t i o n t o a f r i e n d t h a t , " l e s g r a n d e s c o l o r i s t e s s o n t 41 ceux q u i ne f o n t p a s l e t o n l o c a l e . " D e l a c r o i x a g r e e s w i t h B l a n c and c i t e s as an example o f t h i s phenomenon, t h e p a l e t t e o f P a u l V e r o n e s e . C e l a e s t p a r f a i t e m e n t v r a i d i t - i l , ' v o i l a un t o n p a r exemple ( i l m o n t r a i t du d o i g t l e t o n g r i s e t s a l e du pave) eh b i e n , s i 1'on d i s a i t a P a u l V e r o n e s e : p e i g n e z - m o i une b e l l e femme b l o n d e d o n t l a c h a i r s o i t de ce t o n - l a , i l l a p e i n d r a i t , e t l a femme s e r a i t une b l o n d e  dans s o n t a b l e a u . ' ( 3 7 0 ) q ^ V i n c e n t u n d e r l i n e s i n t h i s l e t t e r what i s f o r him t h e i m p o r t a n t p o i n t i n B l a n c ' s a c c o u n t , - - t h a t . a g r a y pavement t o n e may be p e r c e i v e d as a l i g h t t o n e i n a p a i n t i n g when s e t a g a i n s t d a r k e r c o l o u r s . V i n c e n t r e a s s e r t s t h i s p o i n t l a t e r i n t h i s same l e t t e r . As t o d a r k c o l o u r s , i n my o p i n i o n , one must n o t j u d g e t h e c o l o u r s o f a p i c t u r e s e p a r a t e l y ; a d a r k c o l o u r , f o r i n s t a n c e , n e x t t o a s t r o n g b r o w n i s h r e d , a d a r k b l u e o r o l i v e g r e e n may e x p r e s s t h e v e r y d e l i c a t e f r e s h g r e e n o f a meadow o r a l i t t l e c o r n f i e l d . (370) V i n c e n t t h e n c i t e s t h e example o f C o r o t ' s e v e n i n g s k i e s where .. T h e r e a r e c o l o u r s w h i c h a r e v e r y l u m i n o u s i n t h e p i c t u r e and, c o n s i d e r e d s e p a r a t e l y a r e i n f a c t o f a r a t h e r d a r k g r a y i s h t o n e . (370) T h a t V i n c e n t has f o u n d a p a s s a g e h e r e t h a t s e e m i n g l y c o r r o b o r a t e s h i s own v i e w s and p r a c t i c e o f c o l o u r i n p a i n t i n g , i s c l e a r , and more t h a n l i k e l y a c c o u n t s f o r t h e a r t i s t ' s e n j o y m e n t o f t h i s p a r -t i c u l a r e x c e r p t . 4 3 There i s another important part o-f^'this" " same -a r t i c l e that affects Vincent's concept of colour pro-foundly. In his chapter on Delacroix, Blanc gives a b r i e f but im-portant summary of the basic p r i n c i p l e s of colour. The seven hues that comprise white l i g h t s - v i o l e t , indigo, blue , r green, yellow, orange and r e d — a r e defined ' and divided into "primitive" hues and binary hues.^ Blanc explains that the three i r r e d u c i b l e primitive or primary hues, red, yellow, blue,Care combined to produce the binary or secondary hues, green, (blue + yellow), orange/(red + yellow), and v i o l e t , (red + blue). Each of these binary hues bears a special "complementary" r e l a t i o n to the one primary hue that i s l e f t out of i t s make-up. Blanc then proceeds to explain ,"de l a l o i contraste simultane des couleurs" established by M.E. ;-Chevreul, whose researches into colour relationships were published i n 1839 as,De l a l o i contraste simultane des couleurs et de 1'assortment s . 4 c; des objets colores. Blanc's summary of Chevreul touches upon the major v i s u a l e f f e c t s that occur when two hues or hue variations are juxtaposed. I f two complementaries of equal value are juxta-posed, the r e s u l t i s an "exaltation reciproque", as the in t e n s i t y of each of these hues i s increased by t h e i r proximity. Blanc goes so far as to observe that t h i s juxtaposition i n t e n s i f i e s a com-plementary pair to such a vio l e n t i n t e n s i t y that "les yeux humaines pourront a piene en supporter l a vue."^ I t i s pointed out, however, that i f these same complementaries are mixed additively,as i n the mixture of o i l pigments, rather than juxtaposed, the r e s u l t i s not a mutual i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n , but the destruction of the in d i v i d u a l 16 4 7 hues to produce, "un g r i s absolument i n c o l o r e . " T h i s n e u t r a l gray t h a t i s the product of the mixture of equal p a r t s o f a complementary pair,, v a r i e s i f the pigments are mixed i n unequal p o r t i o n s . Thus, i f a g r e a t e r amount of green i s mixed wi t h a l e s s e r amount o f i t s complementary, red, the r e s u l t i s a green-gray as the hues, "ne se d e t r u i r o n t que p a r t i e l l e m e n t e t en 48 aura un ton rompu q u i sera un v a r i e t e du g r i s . " Blanc e x p l a i n s t h a t t h i s unequal mixture o f complementaries which c r e a t e s a broken c o l o u r , "un ton rompu" , g i v e s b i r t h to v a r i o u s e f f e c t s 49 o f harmony and c o n t r a s t . Qui s i maintenant on rapproache l e s sem-b l a b l e s a l ' e t a t pur, mais a d i v e r s degres d'energie, par exemple l e b l e u fonce e t l e b l e u c l a i r on o b t i e n d r a un autre e f f e t , dans l e q u e l i l y aura c o n t r a s t s par l a d i f f e r e n c e d ' i n t e n s i t e e t harmonie par l e s i m i l i t u d e des c o u l e u r s . E n f i n s i deux semblables sont j u x t a -posees l'une a l ' e t a t pur, 1'autre rompue, par exemple du b l e u pur avec du b l e u g r i s , i l en r e s u l t e r a un autre genre de c o n t r a s t e q u i s e r a tempore par l ' a n a l o g i e . ^ A separate c o l o u r phenomenon, " l e melange o p t i q u e " , t h a t occurs when small areas of separate c o l o u r are p e r c e i v e d a t a d i s t a n c e as one c o l o u r , i s a l s o b r i e f l y o u t l i n e d . Deux co u l e u r s juxtaposee dans c e r t a i n e s p r o p o r t i o n e s . . . f o r m e r o n t une t r o i s i e m e c o u l e u r que nos regards perceveront a d i s -tance sans que l e t i s s u e r - o u l e p e i n t r e 1'aient e c r i t e . C e t t e t r o i s i e m e couleur e s t un r e s u l t a n t e que 1 ' a r t i s t e a prevue et q u i e s t nee du melange op t i q u e . T h i s o u t l i n e of the complementary r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n A r t i s t e s de mon temps, though b r i e f , i s presented as the source f o r Eugene D e l a c r o i x ' s achievement i n p a i n t i n g . Blanc observes t h a t D e l a c r o i x 52 understood " l e s s e c r e t s . . . d e s c o u l e u r s " . In o u t l i n i n g the e f f e c t s 17 of harmony and c o n t r a s t t h a t may be achieved through j u x t a p o s i t i o n s of broken c o l o u r s with pure hues, Blanc notes these same c o l o u r combinations g i v e D e l a c r o i x ' s p a i n t i n g s t h e i r passages of harmony and c o n t r a s t which i n t u r n g i v e h i s works t h e i r e x p r e s s i v e q u a l i t y . Blanc a l s o emphasizes D e l a c r o i x ' s c a r e f u l adjustment of c o l o u r r e -l a t i o n s h i p s to the mood of h i s s u b j e c t . Eugene D e l a c r o i x n ' e t a i t pas seulement en p o s s e s s i o n des r e g i e s mathematiques de l a c o u l e u r ; i l en comprenait l e s harmonies morales, i l en s a v a i t mieux que personne au monde l e langage dramatique, l a p o e s i e , e t v o i l a v e r i t a b l e m e n t l e s e c r e t q u ' i l n'a d i t a aucun e l e v e ; mais ses methodes de c o l o r a t i o n e l l e s sont t e l l e m e n t sures que jamais l a p l u s p e t i t mepris ne l u i e s t echappee; e l l e s sont c a l c u l e e s avec t a n t de r i g u e r que s i 1'on essay a i t d'enlever ou d'ajo.uter un s e u l ton dans son t a b l e a u , s i on en m o d i f i a i t l a nuance, ou qu'on en v o u l u t changer l a p l a c e , l a machine e n t i e r e s' e c r o u l e r a i t .54' The m a n i p u l a t i o n o f c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s such as the simultaneous c o n t r a s t o f complementaries i s compared to mu s i c a l harmony by 55 Blanc, and D e l a c r o i x ' s use of such complementary harmonies and c o n t r a s t s i s d e s c r i b e d as e f f e c t i n g "un poe s i e n o u v e l l e . " . . . l e t e r r i b l e harmonie de c o u l e u r s . . . f a i s a i t v i b r e r comme un drame, en p l u t 6 t c e t t e harmonie l e gubre e t a i t JRe- fond meme "de l a t r a g e d i e . Une s o r t e de l y r i s m se t r o u v a i t exprime dans l a seule q u a l i t e des tons q u i e x i t e n t par l e u r h o s t i l i t e , se rapprochent par 1'analogie des c o n t r a i r e s , e t q u i , en se heu r t a n t , se r e c o n c i l i e n t . Tout un p o e s i e n o u v e l l e v e n a i t de n a i t r e dans c e t t e e c o l e f r a n c a i s . . . .56 To V i n c e n t , t h i s account of the c o l o u r p r o p e r t i e s and the p o s s i b l e e x p r e s s i v e e f f e c t s of complementary harmonies and c o n t r a s t s , was a r e v e l a t i o n . Thus, a t the end of l e t t e r 3 70,(beginning of 18 J u n e , 1884), i n w h i c h he h a d announced t h a t he was r e a d i n g B l a n c , V i n c e n t p r o m i s e s t h a t he w i l l s o o n , "copy a n o t h e r p a r t o f t h a t a r t i c l e on D e l a c r o i x a b o u t t h e laws w h i c h a l w a y s r e m a i n t r u e f o r c o l o u r s . " From t h i s p o i n t onwards, V i n c e n t ' s l e t t e r s a r e f i l l e d w i t h t e r m s and p h r a s e s a l l u d i n g t o t h e c o l o u r l a w s as e x p l a i n e d i n B l a n c ' s book. I n l e t t e r 371, ( b e g i n n i n g o f J u n e , 1 8 8 4 ) , V i n c e n t o b s e r v e s t h a t much o f what B l a n c w r o t e i s u n f o r t u n a t e l y n o t common knowledge. To e m p h a s i z e t h i s p o i n t he a s k s Theo, Do y o u know what 'un t o n e n t i e r ' a n d 'un t o n rompu' i s ? . . . . W h a t i s meant by rompre? Such t h i n g s one o u g h t t o know t h e o r e t i c a l l y a l s o , e i t h e r p r a c t i c a l l y as a p a i n t e r , o r i n d i s -d u s s i n g c o l o u r a s a c o n n o i s s e u r . Most p e o p l e g i v e i t w h a t e v e r meaning t h e y l i k e , and y e t t h e s e words, f o r i n s t a n c e , have a v e r y d e f i n i t e s i g n i f i c a n c e . The laws o f t h e c o l o u r s a r e u n u t t e r a b l y b e a u t i f u l , j u s t b e c a u s e t h e y a r e n o t a c c i -d e n t a l . (371) The p o t e n t i a l a b i l i t y o f t h e s e laws t o d e t e r m i n e c a l c u l a b l e e f f -e c t s t h a t remove c h a n c e and a c c i d e n t f r o m p a i n t i n g was c o n s i d e r e d a v i r t u e by V i n c e n t . He p r e c e d e s t h e p a s s a g e q u o t e d above, w i t h t h e o b s e r v a t i o n , "What one f e e l s by i n s t i n c t o r i n t u i t i o n o f t e n becomes d e f i n i t e and c l e a r i f one i s g u i d e d i n one's e f f o r t s by some r e a l l y p r a c t i c a l words." V i n c e n t a l s o s u g g e s t s i n t h i s l e t t e t h a t t h e t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t o f a r t i s t i c g e n i u s may e v e n be a l -5 7 t e r e d as a r e s u l t o f a d h e r e n c e t o s u c h l a w s . T h a t a s p e c t s o f V i n c e n t ' s way o f s e e i n g a r e c h a n g e d by t h i sudden i n t r o d u c t i o n t o B l a n c ' s c o l o u r laws i s i n d i c a t e d i n l e t t e r 372 , ( b e g i n n i n g o f J u n e , 1 8 8 4 ) . I n a s t r i k i n g p a s s a g e t o Theo, d e s c r i b i n g a woman i n t h e c o r n f i e l d s , a c o n c e r n w i t h c o m p l e m e n t a r y 19 c o n t r a s t s permeates V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n . I have not y e t s t a r t e d what s t r u c k me most i n nature r e c e n t l y f o r want of a good model. The h a l f r i p e c o r n f i e l d s are a t p r e s e n t o f a dark golden tone, ruddy or g o l d bronze. T h i s i s r a i s e d t o a maximum of e f f e c t by the c o n t r a s t w i t h the broken c o b a l t tone of the sky. Imagine...women's f i g u r e s very e n e r g e t i c w i t h sun-bronzed f a c e s and arms and f e e t , w i t h dusty, coarse i n d i g o c l o t h e s . . . w h i l e on the way to t h e i r work they pass through the corn along a dusty path of r e d d i s h - v i o l e t with some green weeds. . . . i t demands g r e a t exactness, and one i s not a t l i b e r t y to d e v i a t e from the c o l o u r s of the costume, as the e f f e c t l i e s i n the analogy of the broken i n d i g o tone with the broken c o b a l t tone, i n t e n s i f i e d by the sec-r e t elements or orange i n the ruddy bronze of the corn. ( 3 7 2 ) b y V i n c e n t sees the orange/blue c o n t r a s t s d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s passage as, "a good impression of summer", and proceeds to d e s c r i b e each of the seasons i n terms o f the complementary p a i r s red/green and 59 y e l l o w / v i o l e t and b l a c k / w h i t e . S p r i n g i s tender, green young corn and pink blossoms. Autumn i s the c o n t r a s t of the y e l l o w l e a v e s with v i o l e t tones. Winter i s the snow wit h the b l a c k s i l h o u -e t t e s . But now, i f summer i s the c o n t r a s t o f blues w i t h an element of orange i n the golden bronze of the corn, one c o u l d p a i n t a p i c t u r e which expressed the mood of the seasons i n each of the c o n t r a s t s o f the complementary c o l o u r s (red and green, blue and orange, y e l l o w and v i o l e t , white and b l a c k ) . " (372) That V i n c e n t a t t h i s p o i n t tends to v i s u a l i z e a scene or mood i n terms of these complementary r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i c a t e s the extent t o which he has absorbed Blanc's accounts o f the c o l o u r laws, and e x p e c i a l l y the law of the simultaneous c o n t r a s t of 20 c o l o u r s which governs the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f complementary c o l o u r s . In the f a l l o f 1884 V i n c e n t purchases C h a r l e s Blanc's Grammaire des a r t s du d e s s i n . ^ The Grammaire, d i s c u s s e s the h i s t o r y and theory o f drawing, engraving, p a i n t i n g , and s c u l p t u r e and i n c l u d e s s h o r t d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the achievements o f p a r t i c u l a r 6 2 c u l t u r e s and p a r t i c u l a r a r t i s t s . A t the o u t s e t o f t h i s book, i n the chapter, "Du Dessin e t de l a Couleur", Blanc makes c l e a r t h a t l i n e i n a r t , as the common denominator o f a r c h i t e c t u r e , s c u l p t u r e and p a i n t i n g , i s s u p e r i o r to c o l o u r which i s a s s o c i a t e d with only one of the v i s u a l a r t s , p a i n t i n g . Blanc sees the s u p e r i o r i t y o f l i n e evidenced i n nature, where the form or shape of o b j e c t s i s i n v a r i a b l e and a b s o l u t e . In c o n t r a s t , c o l o u r i s 64 v a r i a b l e and ever-changing. Both have an e x p r e s s i v e power ac c o r d i n g to Bla n c . L i n e , he e x p l a i n s , p r o j e c t s thoughts and 6 5 ideas and a f f e c t s the mind. Colour speaks to what Blanc c a l l s the emotions o f the he a r t and s o u l . D e s c r i b i n g c o l o u r s i n nature, Blanc w r i t e s , C'est e l l e (nature) q u i f a i t n a i t r e sous nos pas ces f l e u r s sans nombre q u i r e v e l e n t des c o u l e u r s . . . e t q u i s u i v a n t l a d i s p o s i t i o n de nos coeurs, nous o f f r e n t , en s'6levant au b l a n c , des nuances g a i e s , ou en descen-dant au n o i r des t e i n t e s m e l a n c o l i q u e s . . . . La, des co u l e u r s p l u s modestes e t , pour a i n s i d i r e , d'un mode mineur, repondant aux t r i s t e s s e s de notre ame....66 Colour p r i n c i p l e s are o u t l i n e d i n Book I I I , e n t i t l e d " P e i n t u r e " . The Grammaire was w r i t t e n p r i o r to A r t i s t e s de mon  temps, and s e v e r a l p o i n t s noted o n l y b r i e f l y i n the s h o r t d i s -c u s s i o n o f c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n Blanc's a r t i c l e on D e l a c r o i x . 21 a r e d e a l t w i t h more f u l l y i n t h e Grammaire. Two c o l o u r w h e e l s i n t h e Grammaire i n d i c a t e t h e c o m p l e m e n t a r y r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f t h e p r i m a r y and s e c o n d a r y h u e s , and t h e i n t e r m e d i a t e hues t h a t r e s u l t f r o m t h e m i x i n g o f a p r i m a r y w i t h i t s a d j a c e n t s e c o n d a r y . An e f f e c t o f t h e law o f s i m u l t a n e o u s c o n t r a s t , t h a t i s , t h e t e n d e n c y o f a hue t o evoke i t s c o m p l e m e n t a r y c o l o u r i s e x p l a i n e d . ...un c e r c l e r o u g e e s t e n t o u r e d'une l e g e r e a u r e o l e v e r t e , q u i v a s ' a f f a i b l i s s a n t a mesure q u ' e l l e s ' e l o i g n e ; un c e r c l e o r a n g e e s t e n t o u r e d'une a u r e o l e b l e u e ; un c e r c l e j a u n e e s t e n t o u r e d'une a u r e o l e v i o l e t t e . . . . 6 8 B l a n c a t t e m p t s t o e x p l a i n t h i s phenomenon by o b s e r v i n g t h a t a hue n e e d s t o be c o m p l e t e d by i t s c o l o u r o p p o s i t e , b e c a u s e a complemen-69-t a r y p a i r p r e s e n t s a l l t h r e e p r i m a r y o r p r i m i t i v e h u e s . The Grammaire a l s o d i s c u s s e s t h e e f f e c t s t h a t r e s u l t when b l a c k and 70 w h i t e a r e j u x t a p o s e d w i t h o t h e r h u e s . B l a n c c o n d e n s e s C h e v r e u l ' s r e s e a r c h e s i n t h i s a r e a t o a s i m p l e s t a t e m e n t t h a t summarizes t h e a b i l i t y o f b l a c k and w h i t e t o m o d i f y h u e s . ...appliques c o n t r e t e l l e ou t e l l e c o u l e u r en p a r t i c u l a r , l e b l a n c l a r e h a u s e , l e n o i r 1'abaisse.71 7 The phenomenon o f " l e melange o p t i q u e " i s a l s o e l a b o r a t e d . A l a t e work o f D e l a c r o i x ' s , t h e c e n t r e c u p o l a o f t h e P a l a i s du Luxembourg, w h i c h s u f f e r s p o o r i l l u m i n a t i o n , i s u s e d t o d e s c r i b e t h e v i b r a n t c o l o u r e f f e c t s t h a t may be p r o d u c e d by " l e melange o p t i q u e " . B l a n c i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e a p p a r e n t l y f l e s h - c o l o u r e d s k i n o f one f i g u r e i s r e n d e r e d by o v e r - p a i n t i n g a b r i g h t p i n k 73 c o l o u r w i t h d a s h e s o f g r e e n . To e x p l a i n more c l e a r l y how t h i s 22 o p t i c a l mixture works, diagrams are provided for the reader which show that i f the complementary colour areas to be juxtaposed are small enough, " l ' o e i l ne percevant plus destinctement chacune... 1'individualite de l a couleur d i s p a r a i t r a avec 1 ' i n d i v i d u a l i t y de 7 4 form.... Blanc concludes his outline of these colour laws with the warning that the painter must not abandon content to exploi-t a t i o n of colour, but must make his use of colour conform to his thoughts. Que le c o l o r i s joue son v r a i r o l e , qui est de nous amener le cortege de l a nature exterieure et d'associer les splendeurs de l a creation materielle de 1'homme ou a sa prescence. Surtout, que l e c o l o r i s t e choisisse dans les harmonies de l a couleur c e l l e s qui semblent, comme d i t l e poete, se conformer a sa pensee.75-Unlike the enthusiastic response that followed his reading of A r t i s t e s de mon temps, Vincent gives no clear i n d i c a t i o n that he has read the Grammaire except to express his b e l i e f that the a r t i s t must adhere to certain compositional laws. He writes i n l e t t e r 381, (October, 1884), ...1 am quite sure that colour, that chiaroscuro, that perspective, that tone and that drawing, i n short everything has fixed laws which one must and can study l i k e chemistry or algebra....even i f one knows ever so much by i n s t i n c t , that i s just the reason to try ever so hard to pass from i n s t i n c t to reason. (381) In the spring of 1885 a s i g n i f i c a n t development, c r u c i a l to Vincent's approach to complementary colours, may be observed. In l e t t e r 401, (c. 13-17 A p r i l , 1885), Vincent copies for Theo, "some int e r e s t i n g 23 p a g e s a b o u t c o l o u r , namely t h e g r e a t p r i n c i p l e s t h a t D e l a c r o i x b e l i e v e d i n " . T h e s e "pages" a r e i n f a c t a l e n g t h y e x c e r p t f r o m B l a n c ' s c h a p t e r on Eugene D e l a c r o i x i n A r t i s t e s de mon temps , t h a t o u t l i n e s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f c o m p l e m e n t a r y c o l o u r s , t h e law o f s i m u l t a n e o u s c o n t r a s t , t h e a d m i x t u r e o f c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s t o p r o d u c e a g r a y o r b r o k e n t o n e , ("un t o n rompu"), and t h e d i f f e r e n t ways i n w h i c h harmony o r c o n t r a s t may be a c h i e v e d by t h e j u x t a -p o s i t i o n o f a n a l o g o u s o r c o n t r a s t i n g h u e s , t o n e s , o r t i n t s . I n t h e t r a n s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s p a s s a g e t h a t i s s e n t t o Theo, V i n c e n t r e v e a l s h i s own p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i n t h e c o l o u r laws by u n d e r -l i n i n g s e v e r a l p h r a s e s t h a t c o n c e r n t h e b r e a k i n g o f c o l o u r s by m i x i n g them w i t h t h e i r c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s , so as t o f o r m n e u t r a l g r a y s o r g r a y v a r i a t i o n s . V i n c e n t u n d e r l i n e s t h e f o l l o w i n g p h r a s e s : " c e s memes c o u l e u r s q u i s ' e x a l t e n t p a r l e u r j u x t a p o s i t i o n se d e t r i u r o n t p a r l e u r m e l a nge"; t h e l a t t e r p a r t o f a s e n t e n c e t h a t e x p l a i n s t h a t two c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s when m i x e d r e s u l t i n , "un g r i s a b s o l u m e n t i n c o l o r e " ; and t h e p h r a s e , "un t o n rompu". The e m p h a s i s t h a t V i n c e n t g i v e s t o t h i s p a s s a g e i s c l a r i f i e d i n l e t t e r 402, ( l a s t week o f A p r i l , 1 8 85), where V i n c e n t i n d i c a t e s t h a t he c o n -s i d e r s c o l o u r s b r o k e n by t h e i r c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s , ( " l e s t o n s r o m p u s " ) , and t h e v a r i e d g r a y s t h a t r e s u l t , as t h e v e r y e a r t h c o l o u r s t h a t he a d m i r e s and s e e k s t o a c h i e v e i n h i s own p a i n t i n g s o f p e a s a n t s . How s t r i k i n g i s t h a t s a y i n g a b o u t M i l l e t ' s f i g u r e s i s : 'Son p a y s a n semble p e i n t a v e c l a t e r r e q u ' i l e n s e m e n c e l ' How e x a c t and how t r u e I And how i m p o r t a n t i t i s t o know how t o mix on t h e p a l e t t e t h o s e c o l o u r s w h i c h have no name and y e t a r e t h e r e a l 24 founda t i o n of e v e r y t h i n g . Perhaps I daresay p o s i t i v e l y , the qu e s t i o n s o f c o l o u r s , and more p r e c i s e l y o f broken and n e u t r a l c o l o u r s w i l l preoccupy you anew. 7 7 (402) 7 /-In l e t t e r 404, (c. 30 A p r i l , 1885), V i n c e n t f u r t h e r i n d i c a t e s t h a t he f i n d s c o l o u r s t h a t are formed by a mixture of complementaries as more a l i v e and v i t a l than e a r t h c o l o u r s taken d i r e c t l y from the tube or c r e a t e d by admixtures with b l a c k and white. To e x p l a i n t h i s p o i n t V i n c e n t uses the image o f woven c l o t h t h a t was no doubt 7 8 i n s p i r e d by a s i m i l a r a l l u s i o n i n Blanc. When the weavers weave t h a t c l o t h , which I t h i n k they c a l l C h e v i o t , o r a l s o the pec-u l i a r Scotch p l a i d s , then you know t h e i r aim i s , f o r the Chev i o t , to get s p e c i a l broken c o l o u r s and grays, and f o r the m u l t i -c o l o u r e d checkered c l o t h t o make the most v i v i d c o l o u r s balance each o t h e r so t h a t , i n s t e a d o f the i s s u e being rude, the e f f e t  p r o d u i t of the p a t t e r n i s harmonious a t a d i s t a n c e . A gray woven from r e d , b l u e , y e l l o w , d i r t y white and b l a c k threads, a blue t h a t i s broken by a green, and orange r e d , or y e l l o w thread, are q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from p l a i n c o l o u r s , t h a t i s to say, they are more i r i d e s c e n t , and primary c o l o u r s become hard, c o l d , and dead i n comparison. (404) V i n c e n t was working on the Potato E a t e r s , F.82, ( A p r i l -May, 18 85), a composition o f f i v e f i g u r e s gathered around a t a b l e and s h a r i n g a meal o f potatoes, a t t h i s time, and the s i g n i f c a n c e t h a t V i n c e n t g i v e s to e a r t h c o l o u r s formed from broken c o l o u r s o u t l i n e d i n l e t t e r 402 , ( l a s t week of A p r i l , 1885), i s important to t h i s canvas. In l e t t e r 405 , (beginning of May, 1885), w r i t t e n j u s t p r i o r 25 to sending o f f the Potato E a t e r s , F. 82, to Theo, V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t he has c r e a t e d gray c o l o u r s i n t h i s composition by mixing the three p r i m a r i e s , an, admixture t h a t corresponds to the mixing o f 79 complementaries and the formation o f broken c o l o u r s . . . . i n the white, or i n s t a n c e , h a r d l y any white has been used, but simply the n e u t r a l c o l o u r , which i s made by mixing red, b l u e , y.ellow, f o r i n s t a n c e v e r m i l l i o n , P a r i s blue and Naples y e l l o w . T h e r e f o r e t h a t c o l o u r i s i n i t s e l f a p r e t t y dark gray, but i n the p i c t u r e i t looks white. I ' l l t e l l you why I do i t t h a t way. Here the s u b j e c t i s a gray i n t e r i o r l i t by a l i t t l e lamp. The d i r t y l i n e n t a b l e c l o t h , the smoky w a l l , the d i r t y caps i n which the women have worked i n the f i e l d . . . a l l t h i s proves to be a very dark gray.... (405) Low va l u e d c o l o u r s are thus c r e a t e d i n a s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t way than the gray v a r i a t i o n s t h a t would be determined by the " b i s t e r and bitumen" emphasis t h a t V i n c e n t f e l t was abl e t o express, "the warm c h i a r o s c u r o o f a c l o s e dusty i n t e r i o r " , o n l y , . 80 a year e a r l i e r . V i n c e n t c l e a r l y sees h i s use of complementary admixtures and broken c o l o u r s as p a r t i c u l a r l y able t o convey the c h a r a c t e r o f the peasants whose l i v e s are moulded by t h e i r l a b o u r i n the f i e l d s . In l e t t e r 404, (c. 30 A p r i l , 1884), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s : "I have t r i e d t o emphasize t h a t these people, e a t i n g t h e i r potatoes i n the l a m p l i g h t have dug the e a r t h with those very hands they put i n the d i s h , and so i t (The Potato E a t e r s , F. 82), speaks o f manual l a b o u r . In l e t t e r 405, (beginning May, 1885), V i n c e n t w r i t e s of the peasants i n the Potato E a t e r s f F. 82, 26 . . . t h e c o l o u r t h e y a r e p a i n t e d i n now i s l i k e t h e c o l o u r o f a v e r y d u s t y p o t a t o , un-p e e l e d o f c o u r s e . W h i l e d o i n g t h i s I t h o u g h t how p e r f e c t t h a t s a y i n g o f M i l l e t ' s a b o u t t h e p e a s a n t s i s : 'Ses p a y s a n s s e m b l a n t p e i n t a v e c l a t e r r e q u ' i l s e n s e m e n c e n t ' . (405) T h i s p a s s a g e i m p l i e s t h a t V i n c e n t ' s e f f o r t s t o s t r e s s t h e r e l a -81 t i o n s h i p b etween t h e p e a s a n t s a n d t h e s o i l , l e a d s h i m t o u s e e a r t h c o l o u r s , l i k e n e d h e r e t o t h e c o l o u r o f an u n p e e l e d p o t a t o , t o r e n d e r h i s p e a s a n t f i g u r e s . The c o m p l e m e n t a r y a d m i x t u r e s t h a t p r o d u c e t h e v a r i e d g r a y s and b r o k e n c o l o u r s t h a t V i n c e n t seems t o see as t h e e a r t h c o l o u r s t h a t r e n d e r " l e p a y s a n . . . p e i n t a v e c l a t e r r e q u ' i l e n -8 2 semence", a l s o a p p e a r t o have an e x p r e s s i v e r o l e o f t h e i r own. I n l e t t e r 402 / ( l a s t week o f A p r i l , 1 8 8 5 ) , t h e s e c o m p l e m e n t a r y a d m i x t u r e s a r e d e s c r i b e d a s , " c o l o u r s w h i c h h ave no name and y e t a r e t h e r e a l f o u n d a t i o n o f e v e r y t h i n g " . I n l e t t e r 404 , ( c . 30 A p r i l , 1 8 85), s u c h c o l o u r s a r e d e s c r i b e d a s , "more i r i d e s c e n t " , and t h e r e f o r e , V i n c e n t i m p l i e s , a b l e t o p r o d u c e p a i n t i n g s t h a t , " a r e a l i t t l e more l i v e l y as t o c o l o u r " . I n c o n t r a s t , g r a y s , browns, and n e u t r a l c o l o u r s n o t c r e a t e d by s u c h c o m p l e m e n t a r y a d m i x t u r e s a r e t e r m e d " p l a i n c o l o u r s " , and d e s c r i b e d a s , " c o l d and d e a d " . W i t h t h e s e a t t r i b u t e s i n mind, V i n c e n t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e P o t a t o E a t e r s , F.82, i n l e t t e r 403 ( l a s t week o f A p r i l , 1 8 8 5), as h a v i n g a d i f f e r e n t q u a l i t y , " t h e l i f e e s p e c i a l l y " , t h a t s e p a r a t e s i t f r o m o t h e r w o r k s , s h o u l d p o s s i b l y be s e e n as a r e f e r e n c e t o t h e use o f c o m p l e m e n t a r y a d m i x t u r e s t o c r e a t e " l e s t o n s rompus", and t h e v a r i e d g r a y s i n t h i s c a n v a s . As 27 V i n c e n t saw a s t r o n g l i n k between t h e p e a s a n t s and t h e e a r t h t h e y worked, h i s e n t h u s i a s m f o r e a r t h c o l o u r s t h a t a r e f o r m e d f r o m v a r i o u s a d m i x t u r e s o f c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s t o d e p i c t p e a s a n t s u b j e c t s may stem f r o m h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t t h e s e c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e d e r i v e d f r o m t h e laws o f n a t u r e . H i s o b s e r v a t i o n s , t o t h e e f f e c t t h a t t h e b e a u t y o f t h e c o l o u r laws d e r i v e s f r o m t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y / ' a l w a y s r e m a i n t r u e " , ^ and are,"not a c c i d e n t a l " , ^  have been p o i n t e d o u t a l r e a d y . V i n c e n t a l s o s e e s c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s b a s e d on c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s as a b l e t o r e c r e a t e c o l o u r s as t h e y o c c u r i n n a t u r e . A p a s s a g e i n l e t t e r R 5 7 , ( s e c o n d h a l f o f A u g u s t , 1 8 8 5 ) , i n w h i c h V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s h i s work t h r o u g h t h e w i n t e r a n d s p r i n g o f 18 85, summarizes V i n c e n t ' s c o n c e p t o f n a t u r e a s t h e s o u r c e f o r h i s new use o f c o l o u r . The t h i n g t h a t o c c u p i e d my a t t e n t i o n i n a l l o f t h i s , was c o l o u r . I mean t h e b r e a k i n g o f t h e c o l o u r s — m i x i n g r e d w i t h g r e e n , b l u e w i t h o r a n g e , y e l l o w w i t h v i o l e t , a l w a y s t h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f t h e c o m p l e m e n t a r y c o l o u r s , t h e i r i n f l u e n c e on e a c h o t h e r , w h i c h n a t u r e i s a s f u l l o f as l i g h t a nd brown. (R57) By d r a w i n g h i s u s e o f c o l o u r s f r o m n a t u r e h e r s e l f , V i n c e n t seems t o i m p l y t h a t t h e a r t i s t may come c l o s e r t o a p p r e h e n d i n g t h e l i f e a nd c h a r a c t e r o f h i s s u b j e c t s . I n t h e c a s e o f V i n c e n t ' s P o t a t o E a t e r s , F.82, (and as w e l l many o f t h e p e a s a n t p o r t r a i t heads t h a t 8 5 V i n c e n t p a i n t e d i n t h i s p e r i o d ) , t h e c h a r a c t e r and l i f e he s e e k s t o c o n v e y i s so c l o s e l y bound up w i t h t h e e a r t h t h e p e a s a n t s l i v e on and work, t h a t t h e b r o k e n c o l o u r s t h a t / ' n a t u r e i s as f u l l o f as l i g h t and brown" and w h i c h f o r V i n c e n t a r e t h e c o l o u r s t h a t 28 e f f e c t i v e l y r e n d e r / ' l e p a y s a n p e i n t a v e c l a t e r r e q u ' i l ensemence, become t h e most e x p r e s s i v e way o f u n d e r l y i n g t h i s c o n n e c t i o n . V i n c e n t s t u d i e s o t h e r c o l o u r t e x t s d u r i n g t h e Nuenen p e r i o d . I n l e t t e r s 423 , ( b e g i n n i n g o f September, 1 8 8 5 ) , a n d 424, (end September, 1885), V i n c e n t r e f e r s t o F e l i x Braquemond's 8 8 Du D e s s i n e t de l a C o u l e u r , a work w h i c h V i n c e n t c o n c l u d e s , u 89 "comes t o t h e same t h i n g as t h e t h e o r i e s d i s c o v e r e d by D e l a c r o i x . I n l e t t e r R58 , (September, 1 8 8 5 ) , V i n c e n t n o t e s t h a t he i s r e a d i n g , 9 0 " S i l v e s t r e ' s a r t i c l e on D e l a c r o i x " . The r e f e r e n c e i s t o T h e o p h i l e S i l v e s t r e ' s two volume work, L e s a r t i s t e s f r a n g a i s , w h i c h c o n t a i n s 91 92 two c h a p t e r s on D e l a c r o i x . L i k e B l a n c , S i l v e s t r e u n d e r l i n e s t h e e x p r e s s i v e power o f D e l a c r o i x ' s c o l o u r , and V i n c e n t , i n l e t t e r R 5 8,(September, 1 8 8 5 ) , p o i n t s t h i s o u t t o R a p p a r d . . . . t h e w h o l e a r t i c l e ( S i l v e s t r e ' s ) dem-o n s t r a t e d t h a t t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f t h e c o l -o u r s and t h e t o n e i n h i s ( D e l a c r o i x ' s ) p i c t u r e s was i d e n t i c a l w i t h t h e i r m e a n i n g , t h e c o n t r a s t o f c o l o u r s , t h e b r o k e n e f f e c t , t h e r e c i p r o c a l r e a c t i n g o f b l a c k t o w h i t e , o f y e l l o w t o v i o l e t , o f o r a n g e t o b l u e , o f r e d t o g r e e n . And f u r t h e r , D e l a c r o i x w r i t e s t o a f r i e n d , ' l a c h a p e l l e ou j ' a i p e i n t e ma P i e t a e t a i t t e l l e m e n t o b s c u r e q u e . . . j ' a i e t a i t o b l i g e de p e i n d r e dans l e c a d a v r e du C h r i s t l e s ombres a v e c du b l e u de P r u s s e , l e s l u m i -e r e s a v e c du j a u n e de chrome p u r ' . (R58) S i l v e s t r e ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f D e l a c r o i x ' s c o l o u r s y s t e m i s s i m p l e . He p o i n t s o u t t h a t D e l a c r o i x a v o i d e d l o c a l c o l o u r a n d i n s t e a d r e l i e d on t h e j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s t o h e i g h t e n h i s 9 3 c o l o u r e f f e c t s . S i l v e s t r e a l s o d e s c r i b e s D e l a c r o i x ' s u s e o f a 94 c o l o u r - m e t e r t o d e t e r m i n e e x a c t c o m p l e m e n t a r y r e l a t i o n s h i p s . 29 I t i s important t o observe t h a t S i l v e s t r e , l i k e B l a n c , does not equate s p e c i f i c c o l o u r s w i t h s p e c i f i c meanings. Rather he em-phas i z e s t h a t c o l o u r c o l o u r combinations, c o n t r a s t s , or subdued harmonies allowed D e l a c r o i x to gi v e drama and f e e l i n g s to h i s 95 works. L i k e Blanc, S i l v e s t r e suggests t h a t i t i s t h i s c a r e f u l o r c h e s t r a t i o n o f c o l o u r t h a t g i v e s D e l a c r o i x ' s a r t i t s p a r a l l e l . 9 6 with music. . . . i l nous l e s v o i r , j e ne s a i s par q u e l l e magie, a t r a v e r s des c o u l e u r s dont chacune r a p e l l e a l a f o i s un t r a i t de l a nature e t une a s p i r a t i o n de 1'ame: i l p o u r s u i t e n t r e l e b l e u e t l e v e r t l'immensite du c i e l e t de l a mer, f a i t r e t e n t i r l e rouge comme l e son des trompettes g u e r r i e r e s , e t t i r e du v i o l e t de sourds gemissements. C'est a i n s i q u ' i l r e t r o u v e dans l a c o u l e u r l e s chants de Mozart, de Beethoven e t de Weber.9 7 V i n c e n t was i n t r i g u e d by the p o s s i b l e p a r a l l e l s between c o l o u r and music t h a t both Blanc and S i l v e s t r e suggested. Anton Kerssemakers . 9 8 has d e s c r i b e d i n h i s r e m i n i s c e n c e s , t h a t V i n c e n t ' s enthusiasm over the p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n between c o l o u r and music l e d him to study piano a t Nuenen, where he compared m u s i c a l notes w i t h v a r i -ous c o l o u r s o f the p a l e t t e . By the end of the Nuenen p e r i o d , (November 1885), V i n c e n t had been i n t r o d u c e d t o * Blanc's A r t i s t e s de mon temps,and Grammaire  des a r t s du d e s s i n , and S i l v e s t r e ' s Les A r t i s t e s f r a n g a i s , works t h a t u n d e r l i n e the importance o f c o l o u r harmonies and c o n t r a s t s achieved by complementary j u x t a p o s i t i o n s and admixtures. These works a l s o emphasize the e x p r e s s i v e value o f such c o l o u r r e l a t i o n -s h i p s , s t r e s s the a b i l i t y o f c o l o u r t o s t i r the s o u l i n a way analogous to music,and c i t e • D e l a c r o i x as the master i n t h i s area. 30 While V i n c e n t was a t t r a c t e d t o the l o g i c a l p a i r i n g of 99 complementary c o l o u r s , implementing them i n h i s work, and making them an e s s e n t i a l aspect of h i s v i s i o n up u n t i l the end o f the Nuenen p e r i o d , he a l s o seems to have e x p l o r e d the e x p r e s s i v e p o t e n t i a l of complementary c o l o u r s . As has been shown i n the preceeding chapter, complementary admix-t u r e s and the broken c o l o u r s ("les tons rompus"), appear to have been a s s i m i l a t e d i n t o V i n c e n t ' s concept of the peasant moulded by the e a r t h he works, and used to u n d e r l i n e t h a t relationship.'^"*' Although V i n c e n t ' s c o l o u r undergoes r a d i c a l changes between 1885 and the summer and autumn of 1888, when a r e t u r n to c o l o u r concepts h e l d i n Nuenen i s 102 i n d i c a t e d , the c o n t a c t i n Nuenen wit h t e x t s t h a t a t t r i b u t e an e x p r e s s i v e p o t e n t i a l t o complementary c o n t r a s t s and harmonies, p r o v i d e s a base upon which V i n c e n t l a t e r b u i l d s h i s c o l o u r concepts. 31 CHAPTER I I THE CHANGE IN PALETTE AND TECHNIQUE IN PARIS I n P a r i s f r o m M arch, 1886 t o F e b r u a r y , 1888, 1 0 3 V i n c e n t i s i n t r o d u c e d t o t h e p a l e t t e and t e c h n i q u e o f i m p r e s s i o n i s m and n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s m , and t h e a r t o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t . The change t h a t i s e f f e c t e d i n h i s a r t as a r e s u l t o f t h i s c o n t a c t i s i m p o r t a n t t o V i n c e n t ' s u s e o f c o l o u r a t A r i e s i n t h e summer and f a l l o f 1888. P r i o r t o V i n c e n t ' s a r r i v a l i n P a r i s i n M a r c h , 18 86, he had 104 no c l e a r i d e a o f what i m p r e s s i o n i s m e n t a i l e d , d e s p i t e T h e o ' s e f f o r t s t h r o u g h 18 84 and 1885 t o i n f o r m h i s b r o t h e r o f t h e l i g h t e r 10 5 p a l e t t e t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d c o n t e m p o r a r y P a r i s a r t . A r r i v i n g i n P a r i s i n M a rch, 1886, V i n c e n t was i n t r o d u c e d t o a wide s p e c t r u m o f c o n t e m p o r a r y a r t . He was a b l e t o see and s t u d y t h e works o f 106 t h e o r t h o d o x i m p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t e r s s u c h a s Monet, R e n o i r , S i s l e y and C a m i l l e P i s s a r r o , whose work i t was t h a t Theo had p r o b a b l y a t t e m p t e d t o d e s c r i b e t o V i n c e n t t h e p r e c e d i n g y e a r i n 107 Nuenen. Monet and R e n o i r t o o k p a r t i n t h e s p r i n g " E x p o s i t i o n 108 I n t e r n a t i o n a l e " a t George P e t i t ' s g a l l e r y , a n d t h e work o f t h e s e two a r t i s t s , as w e l l as t h a t o f C a m i l l e P i s s a r r o and S i s l e y 109 was c a r r i e d by D u r a n d R u e l . V i n c e n t was a l s o a b l e t o o b s e r v e t h e work o f a r t i s t s who were moving away f r o m t h e c o n c e r n s , i n t e r m s o f b o t h s t y l e and s u b j e c t m a t t e r , o f t h e o r t h o d o x i m p r e s s -32 i o n i s t s . 1 1 0 The e i g h t h (and l a s t ) i m p r e s s i o n i s t e x h i b i t i o n , was h e l d i n 1886 a t the Maison Dore, Rue L a f i t t e , and opened on May 15th, 18 86."*""^  While t h i s show i n c l u d e d a r t i s t s such as Berthe M o r i s o t , Mary C a s s a t t , Degas, G u i l l a u m i n , and Gauguin, who had 112 p a r t i c i p a t e d i n e a r l i e r i m p r e s s i o n i s t e x h i b i t i o n s , i t a l s o presented, i n a separate room, the work of Seurat and h i s f o l l o w -113 ers Signac and L u c i e n P i s s a r r o , which was to be l a b e l l e d i n September of 1886, "neoimpressionism". The orthodox i m p r e s s i o n i s t s , i n p u r s u i t of the impact of c o l o u r and l i g h t i n nature had g r a d u a l l y focused on the use of high valued and pure hues, and the use of hue c o n t r a s t r a t h e r than 115 value c o n t r a s t as a means of e x p r e s s i o n . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c 116 loose and i r r e g u l a r brushwork of orthodox impressionism of the l a t e 1870's and e a r l y 1880's was a b l e t o r e c o r d q u i c k l y the t r a n -117 s i e n t l i g h t and c o l o u r e f f e c t s , and a t the same time impart the focus on l i g h t , c o l o u r , and atmosphere t h a t r e j e c t e d a l i n e a r 118 demarcation of form. The n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t a r t i s t s r e p l a c e d 119 the " i n t u i t i v e " and "romantic" approach to l i g h t and c o l o u r of the orthodox i m p r e s s i o n i s t s w i t h a s y s t e m a t i c c o l o u r theory and 120 technique. F e l i x Fe'ne'on, w r i t e r and a r t c r i t i c , h a d d e s c r i b e d Seurat's p o i n t i l i s t technique and s p e c i a l approach to c o l o u r i n the a r t i c l e "Les I m p r e s s i o n i s t e s " , i n La Vogue f o l l o w i n g the 121 Rue L a f i t t e e x h i b i t . S i , dans La Grande J a t t e de M. Seurat, 1 1 on c o n s i d e r e , par exemple, un decimetre c a r r e couvert d'un ton uniform, on t r o u -vera sur chacun des centimetres de c e t t e s u p e r f i c i e , en une t o u r b i l l o n n a n t e cohue de menues macules, tous l e s elements con-s t i t u t i f s du t o n. C e t t e pelouse dans 33 1 'ombre: des t o u c h e s , en m a j o r i t e d o n n e n t l a v a l e u r l o c a l e de l ' h e r b e ; d 1 a u t r e s , de p o u r p r e , f o n t i n t e r v e n i r l a c o m p l e m e n t a i r e du v e r t ; un b l e u c y a n e , p r o v o g u e p a r l a p r o x i m i t e d'une nappe d ' h e r b e au s o l e i l , a c c u m u l e s e s c r i b l u r e s v e r s l a l i g n e de d e m a r c a t i o n e t l e s r a r i f i e p r o g r e s s i v e m e n t en d e c a . . . . Ces c o u l e u r s , i s o l e e s s u r l a t o i l e , s e r e c o m p o s e n t s u r l a r e t i n e : ou a done non un melange de c o u l e u r s — m a t i e r e s ( p i g m e n t s ) , m a i s un melange de c o u l e u r s — l u m i e r e s . . . . L ' a t m o s p h e r e e s t t r a n s p a r a n t e e t v i b r a n t e s i n g u l i e r e m e n t ; l a s u r f a c e semble v a c i l e r . P e u t - e t r e c e t t e s e n s a t i o n , qu'on e p r o u v e a u s s i d e v a n t t e l s a u t r e s t a b l e a u x de l a meme s a l l e , s ' e x p l i q u e r a i t - e l l e p a r l a t h e o r i e de Dove: l a r e t i n e , p r e v e n u e que de f a i s -eaux l u m i n e u x d i s t i n c t s a g i s s e n t s u r e l l e , p e r c o i t p a r t r e s r a p i d e s a l t e r n a t s , e t l e s e l e m e n t s c o l o r e s d i s s o c i e s e t l e u r r e s u l -t a n t e . 1 2 2 12 3 ^ s As Homer, L o e v g r e n , and H e r b e r t , have p o i n t e d o u t , F e n e o n ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e t h e o r i e s o f S e u r a t and h i s c i r c l e were a c c e p -124 ^ s t e d by t h e a r t i s t s t h e m s e l v e s , and r e f l e c t F e n e o n ' s c l o s e c o n t a c t w i t h t h e g r o u p . I n t h e "Les I m p r e s s i o n i s t e s " a r t i c l e , F e n e o n t o u c h e s upon t h e b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s t h a t g u i d e d t h e d i v i s i o n o f 125 / t o n e i n t h e n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t c a n v a s . 'Feneon o b s e r v e s t h a t w i t h -i n a g i v e n a r e a o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n , t h e l o c a l c o l o u r o f an o b j e c t 126 i s e v o k e d by s m a l l t o u c h e s o f t h e a p p r o p r i a t e l y hued p i g m e n t . The e f f e c t o f s u n l i g h t i s r e p r e s e n t e d by s m a l l t o u c h e s o f y e l l o w 127 and o r a n g e p i g m e n t , and shaded a r e a s a r e d e p i c t e d w i t h a t t e n -t i o n t o t h e c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s o r c o l o u r o p p o s i t e s o f o b j e c t s s e e n u n d e r w h i t e l i g h t . The c o m p l e m e n t a r y o f o r a n g e y e l l o w t h a t i n d i c a t e s t h e e f f e c t o f s u n l i g h t i s a l s o added t o i n d i c a t e a 12 8 / d e g r e e o f f i l t e r e d l i g h t . F e n e o n ' s r e f e r e n c e t o t h e way i n w h i c h c o l o u r e d l i g h t s o r an a d d i t i v e m i x t u r e o f p i g m e n t s a r e 34 129 mixed on the r e t i n a , i n the "Les I m p r e s s i o n i s t e s " a r t i c l e d e s c r i b e s the phenomenon of o p t i c a l mixture. 1"^ 0 T h e o r e t i c a l l y , p o i n t i l i s t touches of pigment are to recombine on the r e t i n a t o form a t h i r d c o l o u r t h a t is-- h i g h e r i n i n t e n s i t y than the c o l o u r t h a t would be produced by the p h y s i c a l or s u b t r a c t i v e mixture 131 of pigments. However, i n n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t canvases t h i s f u s i o n does not take p l a c e ; i n s t e a d , a v i b r a t i o n o r o s c i l l a t i o n r e s u l t s as the eye p e r c e i v e s the separate touches of c o l o u r and a t the same time s t r u g g l e s to fuse these touches i n t o a s o l i d 132 c o l o u r s u r f a c e . T h i s v i b r a t i o n e f f e c t s the s c i n t i l l a t i n g and shimmering atmospheric q u a l i t y t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e s the neoimpres-s i o n i s t canvas. Although Fen6on's "Les I m p r e s s i o n i s t e s " a r t i c l e does not c i t e the s e v e r a l t e x t s . t h a t p r o v i d e d Seurat with h i s understanding of l i g h t and c o l o u r , ( B l a n c ' s , A r t i s t e s de mon temps, and Grammaire des a r t s du d e s s i n ; David S u t t e r ' s "Phenomenes de l a v i s i o n " ; ,. 133 Ogden Rood's, T h e o r i e S c i e n t i f i q u e des c o u l e u r s ) , the emphasis giv e n to the d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s of l i g h t and c o l o u r , and the r e f e r e n c e s to s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r i e s . i n t h i s , and other a r t i c l e s by Fen£on on the n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t e r s , u n d e r l i n e s the way i n which the a r t of Seurat, Signac, the P i s s a r r o s and t h e i r c i r c l e 135 was seen as a reform of the more i n t u i t i v e approach to l i g h t and c o l o u r of the orthodox i m p r e s s i o n i s t s , and more.^in accord with 136 the s c i e n t i f i c nature of the modern age. Although V i n c e n t ' s c o n t a c t s and i n t e r e s t s i n P a r i s are 137 d i f f i c u l t t o document, he was by h i s own account i n t r i g u e d by 35 t h e l i g h t e r p a l e t t e a n d e m p h a s i s o n p u r e c o l o u r t h a t w a s t h e c o m m o n d e n o m i n a t o r o f b o t h o r t h o d o x i m p r e s s i o n i s m , a n d n e o i m p r e s -s i o n i s m . H e t h u s w r i t e s t o t h e E n g l i s h a r t i s t L e v e n s , i n l e t t e r 4 5 9 a , ( c . A u g u s t - O c t o b e r , 1 8 8 6 ) , I n A n t w e r p I d i d n o t e v e n k n o w w h a t t h e i m p r e s s i o n i s t s w e r e , n o w I h a v e s e e n t h e m a n d t h o u g h n o t o n e o f t h e c l u b y e t , I h a v e a d m i r e d c e r t a i n i m p r e s s i o n i s t s ' p i c t u r e s -D e g a s ' n u d e f i g u r e - - C l a u d e M o n e t -- l a n d -s c a p e . A n d n o w f o r w h a t r e g a r d s w h a t I m y s e l f h a v e b e e n d o i n g , I h a v e l a c k e d m o n e y f o r p a y i n g m o d e l s e l s e I h a d e n t i r e l y g i v e n m y s e l f t o f i g u r e p a i n t i n g . B u t I h a v e m a d e a s e r i e s o f c o l o u r s t u d i e s i n p a i n t -i n g , s i m p l y f l o w e r s . . . - s e e k i n g o p p o s i t i o n s o f b l u e w i t h o r a n g e , r e d a n d g r e e n , y e l l o w a n d v i o l e t s e e k i n g l e s t o n s r o m p u s e t  n e u t r e s t o h a r m o n i z e b r u t a l e x t r e m e s . T r y i n g t o r e n d e r i n t e n s e c o l o u r a n d n o t a g r a y h a r m o n y . T O O ( 4 5 9 a ) 1 3 8 A y e a r l a t e r , V i n c e n t w a s t o r e c a l l t o h i s s i s t e r , W i l h e l m i n a i n l e t t e r W l , ( s u m m e r o r f a l l , 1 8 8 7 ) , h i s e f f o r t s t o a b a n d o n t h e g r a y a n d b r o w n v a l u e s t h a t h a d d o m i n a t e d h i s p a l e t t e p r i o r t o h i s a r r i v a l i n P a r i s . L a s t s u m m e r I p a i n t e d h a r d l y a n y t h i n g b u t f l o w e r s i n o r d e r t o g e t a c c u s t o m e d t o u s i n g a s c a l e o f c o l o u r s o t h e r t h a n g r a y - n a m e l y p i n k , s o f t a n d v i v i d g r e e n , l i g h t b l u e , v i o l e t , y e l l o w , o r a n g e , r i c h r e d . ( W l ) V i n c e n t ' s f l o w e r s t u d i e s e x e c u t e d o v e r t h e s u m m e r o f 1 8 8 6 , a r e 139 n u m e r o u s a n d v a r i e d , b u t s h o w , b e t w e e n t h e s p r i n g a n d s u m m e r o f 1 8 8 6 , a g r o w i n g a b i l i t y t o w o r k o u t p i c t o r i a l p r o b l e m s w i t h i n 1 4 0 t h e f r a m e w o r k o f a l i g h t e r p a l e t t e a n d a f o c u s o n p u r e h u e s . V a s e w i t h G l a d o l i , F . 2 4 8 a , ( l a t e s u m m e r , 1 8 8 6 ) , s h o w s V i n c e n t ' s 36 achievement i n t h i s r e s p e c t . A l l the hues w i t h i n the composition are high valued, and the foreground of vase and flowers i s s e t o f f from the background by a hue c o n t r a s t , r a t h e r than v a l u e 141 c o n t r a s t , a s i g n i f i c a n t development when compared w i t h the Bowl w i t h P a n s i e s , F.244, ( s p r i n g , 1886), i n which value grada-t i o n are s t i l l the means whereby V i n c e n t evokes form and space. A landscape of the e a r l y f a l l o f 1886, shows t h a t V i n c e n t was able t o extend h i s use of a l i g h t e r p a l e t t e to landscape s u b j e c t s with a l a r g e r c o m p o s i t i o n a l framework. Montmartre: Quarry, F.2 30, (October, 18 86), w h i l e rendered i n a "low keyed predominantly 142 . • gray-green scheme of t o n a l harmonies", i l l u s t r a t e s an i n c r e a s i n g i n t e r e s t i n the use of h i g h e r valued hues modulated by s u b t l e hue c o n t r a s t s . V i n c e n t ' s brushwork, composed of f l a t , s h o r t broad s t r o k e s , (and not the i r r e g u l a r or comma-like brushwork a s s o c i a t e d with i m p r e s s i o n i s t technique of the l a t e 1870's and e a r l y 1880's), renders the expanse of cloudy sky a l l o w i n g touches of v i o l e t - g r a y and blue-gray pigment to modulate the y e l l o w - g r a y areas of c l o u d , and so imply breadth, form and movement. S i m i l a r l y the-foreground rocks of the quarry are d e p i c t e d by broad f l a t brush s t r o k e s . These render the shaded s i d e of the quarry's r e c t a n g u l a r b l o c k s by means of a s i n g l e s t r o k e of blue-gray; the l i g h t e d s i d e s of these b l o c k s are rendered by a s t r o k e of ochre or gray-pink p i g -ment. The green of the Montmartre h i l l s i d e i s a l s o d e p i c t e d i n terms of the v a r i a b l e l i g h t e f f e c t s of the P a r i s i a n sky as f l a t touches of dark green and ochre t h a t o v e r l a y the drab muted green of the grassy i n c l i n e , Imply s u b t l e nuances of l i g h t and shadow. 37 I n t h e s p r i n g o f 1887, V i n c e n t b e g i n s t o e x p l o r e t h e use o f h i g h v a l u e d and p u r e hues i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h a s y s t e m a t i c b r u s h s t r o k e t h a t r e f l e c t s h i s e x p l o r a t i o n o f n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t t e c h n i q u e . T h e r e a r e s e v e r a l f a c t o r s t h a t p r o b a b l y l e d V i n c e n t t o d e v e l o p h i s a r t i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n . V i n c e n t was p r o b a b l y made aware o f t h e a r t o f t h e n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t s v i a t h e Rue L a f i t t e 144 e x h i b i t i n t h e s p r i n g o f 1886, o r t h e s e c o n d e x h i b i t o f t h e S o c i e t e des A r t i s t e s I n d e p e n d a n t e s , h e l d f r o m t h e 21 A u g u s t t o 145 t h e 21 September, 1886. S e v e r a l a r t i c l e s i n P a r i s p e r i o d i c a l s i n 1886, a l s o w o u l d have i n t r o d u c e d V i n c e n t t o a s p e c t s o f t h e 146 new i m p r e s s i o n i s m . H i s i n t e r e s t i n c o l o u r laws and t h e s p e c i a l p r o p e r t i e s o f c o m p l e m e n t a r y c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t was a l r e a d y 14 7 w e l l formed i n Nuenen must have p l a y e d a r o l e i n d r a w i n g V i n c e n t b o t h t o t h e new a r t t h a t r e l i e d h e a v i l y on co m p l e m e n t a r y c o l o u r 14 8 e f f e c t s t and t o t h e a r t i s t s who e s p o u s e d t h e new c o l o u r t h e o r i e s . „ A l t h o u g h i t - i s d i f f i c u l t , to, ;es^abld.s'h"'when-'Vincent came i n t o c o n t a c t w i t h members o f t h e n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t c i r c l e , h i s f r i e n d s h i p w i t h C a m i l l e and L u c i e n P i s s a r r o , and w i t h S i g n a c , 149 no d o u b t s e r v e d t o f u r t h e r h i s i n t e r e s t i n n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s m . V i n c e n t ' s View o f t h e K i t c h e n G a r d e n s a t M o n t m a r t r e , F.346, ( e a r l y s p r i n g , 1887), and View f r o m V i n c e n t ' s Room, F.341, ( e a r l y s p r i n g , 1 8 8 7 ) , a p p e a r t o r e p r e s e n t V i n c e n t ' s e a r l y e f f o r t s t o a t t a c k t h e b a s i c s o f a n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t v i s i o n . T h e s e c a n v a s e s s h a r e i n common V i n c e n t ' s a p p a r e n t a t t e m p t t o r e n d e r f o r m and s p a c e v i a s m a l l d o t s and d a s h e s o f h i g h v a l u e d h u e s . V i n c e n t ' s i n a d e q u a t e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n by 38 s u c h means, however, i s r e v e a l e d most m a r k e d l y by t h e i n c o n s i s -t e n c i e s o f b r u s h w o r k . I n t h e View f r o m V i n c e n t ' s Bedroom, F.341, f o r e x a m p l e , t h i n b l u e l i n e s o u t l i n e t h e b u i l d i n g s i n t h e c o m p o s i -t i o n , as w e l l as s u c h d e t a i l s as window f r a m e s , s h u t t e r s , r o o f l i n e s and c h i m n e y s . T h e s e l i n e s d e f i n e b o r d e r s w i t h i n w h i c h p o i n t i l i s t d o t s o f p i g m e n t a r e a p p l i e d . S i m i l a r l y i n View o f t h e K i t c h e n  G a r d e n s a t M o n t m a r t r e , F.346, forms a r e drawn on t h e c a n v a s , and o b j e c t s a r e n o t e v o k e d by t h e c u m u l a t i v e e f f e c t o f a m y r i a d o f p i g m e n t t o u c h e s i n d i c a t i n g t h e l o c a l c o l o u r o f an o b j e c t , e f f e c t s o f l i g h t , d i r e c t and r e f l e c t e d , and t h e p r o x i m i t y o f o t h e r objects.''" By t h e e a r l y summer o f 18 87, however, V i n c e n t r e v e a l s a d e v e l o p i n g a b i l i t y t o s u b m i t t h e s i z e o f p i g m e n t t o u c h e s t o t h e r e p r e s e n t a -t i o n a l demands o f t h e s u b j e c t m a t t e r . I n V o y e r d ' A r g e n s o n P a r k , F.314, (May, 1 8 8 7 ) , an i n t e r l a c e d n e t w o r k o f p i g m e n t t o u c h e s p r o h i b i t s t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e c a n v a s s u r f a c e , a f a c t o r w h i c h had h i n d e r e d t h e p l a y o f l i g h t and c o l o u r and t h e e v o c a t i o n o f f o r m s a n d s p a c e i n t h e c a n v a s e s , V i e w o f t h e K i t c h e n G a r d e n s a t Mont-m a r t r e , F.346, and V i e w f r o m V i n c e n t ' s Bedroom, F.341, o f t h e s p r i n g o f 18 87. I n V o y e r d ' A r g e n s o n P a r k , F.314, t h e p i g m e n t t o u c h e s a r e n o t u n i f o r m i n s i z e , b u t i n s t e a d s y s t e m a t i c a l l y d i m i n i s h t o r e i n f o r c e t h e p e r p e c t i v a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f s p a t i a l r e c e s s i o n . W h i l e V i n c e n t ' s t e c h n i q u e i s s y s t e m a t i c , i t i s n o t , however, t h e 151 p r e c i s e p o i n t i l i s m o f S e u r a t ' s L a Grande J a t t e . V i n c e n t ' s b r u s h w o r k i s composed o f s m a l l d a s h e s o f p i g m e n t t h a t t e n d t o f o l l o w t h e g e n e r a l c o n t o u r s o f t h e o b j e c t s t h a t a r e r e p r e s e n t e d . Thus i n V o y e r d ' A r g e n s o n P a r k , F.314, t h e d a s h e s o f p i g m e n t t h a t d e n o t e t h e l e a v e s o f t h e p a r k t r e e s t e n d t o c o n f o r m t o t h e a n g l e 39 and d i r e c t i o n o f l e a f g r o w t h . S i m i l a r l y t h o s e t h a t d e p i c t t h e c o l o u r o f t h e p a t h s t h a t w i n d t h r o u g h t h e p a r k a r e p r e d o m i n a n t l y h o r i z o n t a l i n d i r e c t i o n . The l a r g e e x p a n s e o f b l u e s k y i s composed 152 " -o f a mass o f d i a g o n a l t o u c h e s o f p i g m e n t . A l t h o u g h V i n c e n t ' s use o f c o l o u r v a r i e s f r o m t h e n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t ' s p r e c i s e d i v i s i o n o f t o n e s , many o f t h e c o n c e r n s o f d i v i s i o n i s t t h e o r y a r e e v i d e n t 153 i n t h i s c a n v a s . I n t h e l e f t . f o r e g r o u n d o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n ' t h e v i s u a l e f f e c t s o f s u n l i g h t on g r a s s a r e r e c o r d e d i n some d e t a i l . T o u c h e s o f o r a n g e p i g m e n t , a l o n g s i d e and o v e r t o p o f t o u c h e s o f d a r k and l i g h t g r e e n p i g m e n t i n d i c a t e t h e f a l l o f l i g h t on t h e g r e e n g r a s s . T o u c h e s o f b l u e p i g m e n t l a y e d a l o n g s i d e t h e s e o r a n g e brush, s t r o k e s , add b o t h t h e c o m p l e m e n t a r y t o s o l a r o r a n g e , and a t t h e same t i m e , g i v e t h i s f o r e g r o u n d a r e a i t s v i b r a n c y and d e t a i l . G r a s s i n t h e m i d d l e g r o u n d a r e a o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n t h a t i s t o be p e r c e i v e d as a t a g r e a t e r d i s t a n c e , i s r e n d e r e d by means o f g r e e n t o u c h e s o f p i g m e n t o v e r l a y e d w i t h t o u c h e s o f y e l l o w and o r a n g e . The l a c k o f any c o m p l e m e n t a r y hue i n t h i s a r e a , and p r e d o m i n a n c e o f hues c l o s e t o g e t h e r on t h e hue c i r c l e e f f e c t s t h e l e s s d e t a i l e d and v i b r a n t q u a l i t y o f an a r e a v i e w e d f r o m a d i s t a n c e . A s i m i l a r u s e o f s t r o n g hue c o n t r a s t s i n t h e f o r e g r o u n d t h a t d i m i n i s h and a r e r e p l a c e d by s m a l l i n t e r v a l c o n t r a s t s i n t h e m i d d l e and b a c k -g r o u n d , p r e v a i l s t h r o u g h o u t t h e e n t i r e c o m p o s i t i o n . W h i l e V i n c e n t i s a b l e t o a d j u s t h i s use o f hues i n t h i s way, i t s h o u l d be n o t e d t h a t h i s a t t e n t i o n t o shadow e f f e c t s , w h i c h a c c o r d i n g t o neoim-p r e s s i o n i s t t h e o r y s h o u l d be r e n d e r e d a s c o m p l e m e n t a r y t o t h e l o c a l c o l o u r o f t h e s h a d e d o b j e c t w i t h a t t e n t i o n a t t h e same t i m e g i v e n 154 t o t h e r e f l e c t e d l i g h t f r o m n e a r b y o b j e c t s , i s m i n i m a l . W h i l e a 40 b l u i s h - g r a y shadow i s c a s t by t h e o r a n g e p a r a s o l and v e r m i l l i o n d r e s s o f t h e s e a t e d woman i n t h e l e f t m i d d l e g r o u n d o f t h e com-p o s i t i o n : t h e shadows c a s t by t h e t r e e s t h a t s t a n d i s o l a t e d on t h e g r a s s a r e i n d i c a t e d o n l y by t h e a b s e n c e o f y e l l o w and o r a n g e p i g m e n t t o u c h e s . As o n l y t h e d i m i n u t i o n o f s u n l i g h t i s t h u s o b s e r v e d , t h e g r e e n l o c a l c o l o u r o f t h e g r a s s i s a b l e t o d o m i n a t e t h e s h a d e d a r e a . A l t h o u g h i n View f r o m M o n t m a r t r e , F.316, (summer, 1887), V i n c e n t ' s b r u s h w o r k — d a s h e s o f p i g m e n t t h a t d i m -i n i s h i n s i z e t o i n d i c a t e s p a t i a l r e c e s s i o n — i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t t o t h e more r e s t r a i n e d b r u s h w o r k i n V o y e r d ' A r g e n s o n  P a r k , F.314, hue c o n t r a s t i s u s e d i n a s i m i l a r way. I n f o r e -g r o u n d a r e a s c o m p l e m e n t a r y t o u c h e s o f p i g m e n t a r e l a y e d s i d e by s i d e t o g i v e b o t h v i b r a n c y and d e t a i l t o t h e g r a s s , f l o w e r s , and f e n c e s . B o t h t h e s i z e o f t h e s e p i g m e n t t o u c h e s and t h e f r e q u e n c y o f c o m p l e m e n t a r y c o n t r a s t s d i m i n i s h t o i n d i c a t e s p a t i a l r e c e s s i o n . V i n c e n t a p p e a r s t o have d e l i b e r a t e l y a t t a c k e d v a r i o u s c o m p o s i t i o n a l p r o b l e m s so as t o m a s t e r t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f l i g h t and c o l o u r by t h i s new t e c h n i q u e . W h e a t f i e l d w i t h L a r k , F.310, (summer, 1 8 8 7 ) , a l a n d s c a p e i n w h i c h c u t wheat o c c u p i e s t h e f o r e -g r o u n d , and s t a n d i n g wheat t h e m i d d l e g r o u n d , i s an example. I n t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n , t h e c a n v a s i s d i v i d e d i n t o t h r e e h o r i z o n t a l bands t h a t r e p r e s e n t t h e a r e a o f c u t wheat, t h e row o f s t a n d i n g wheat, a n d t h e s k y a b o v e . The u s e o f l a r g e p i g m e n t t o u c h e s i n t h e f o r e g r o u n d t h a t d i m i n i s h g r a d u a l l y t o i n d i c a t e s p a t i a l r e -c e s s i o n i s made i m p o s s i b l e b e c a u s e o f t h e n e e d t o d e p i c t t h e s h o r t c u t wheat w i t h s m a l l b r u s h s t r o k e s and t h e s t a n d i n g wheat w i t h l a r g e r b r u s h s t r o k e s . V i n c e n t ' s c o n v i n c i n g r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h i s 41 d i f f i c u l t s u b j e c t , and h i s s i m i l a r success w i t h other d e l i b e r a t e l y awkward compositions such as park s t u d i e s which ex p l o r e problems such as a shaded foreground, and l i g h t e d middle or background, i n d i c a t e the degree t o which V i n c e n t absorbed the p r i n c i p l e s of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n by means of hue c o n t r a s t , and h i s a b i l i t y t o r e -c r e a t e l i g h t e f f e c t s by pigment touches t h a t d e t a i l l o c a l c o l o u r , the e f f e c t of s u n l i g h t and the induced complementaries and r e -157 f l e c t i o n s t h a t e f f e c t the p e r c e p t i o n of shaded areas. V i n c e n t ' s approach to c o l o u r and technique was r a d i c a l l y a l t e r e d by h i s c o n t a c t i n P a r i s w i t h the a r t o f the Japanese 15 8 p r i n t . In P a r i s , V i n c e n t began a l a r g e c o l l e c t i o n o f Japanese 159 p r i n t s , many of which were s e l e c t e d from the l a r g e number of 1 ft o p r i n t s a c q u i r e d by the a r t d e a l , Bing. As w e l l , he arranged an e x h i b i t of Japanese p r i n t s h e l d a t the Cafe Tambourin i n the 161 s p r i n g of 1887. V i n c e n t was a l s o i n f a i r l y c l o s e c o n t a c t d u r i n g 1886-1887 w i t h two a r t i s t s , Emile Bernard and L o u i s 162 Anquetin, who were a t t r a c t e d to the f l a t s i m p l i f i e d c o l o u r areas, s i m p l i f i e d forms and contours, and avoidance of t r a n s i e n t l i g h t e f f e c t s i n the Japanese p r i n t . In c o n j u n c t i o n with t h e i r study o f medieval s t a i n e d g l a s s windows and the Images d ' E p i n a l of f o l k a r t — o t h e r forms t h a t expressed a b s t r a c t and symbolic 163 forms through s i m p l i f i e d l i n e and c o l o u r — B e r n a r d and Anquentin evolved a p a i n t i n g s t y l e t h a t emphasized s i m p l i f i e d dark contour 164 l i n e s t h a t bounded f l a t areas of b r i g h t c o l o u r . While V i n c e n t was to r e v e a l h i s a t t r a c t i o n t o Bernard and Anquentin's a r t l a t e r i n A r i e s , h i s e a r l y a s s i m i l a t i o n of formal aspects of the Japanese p r i n t a t t h i s time does not so r a d i c a l l y supplant 42 h i s u s e o f c o l o u r d e v e l o p e d t h r o u g h 1886 and 18 87, t h a t r e n d e r e d 166 n u a n c e s o f l i g h t and c o l o u r . O v e r t h e s p r i n g and summer o f 1 6 7 1887, V i n c e n t p a i n t e d t h r e e r e p r o d u c t i o n s o f J a p a n e s e p r i n t s , and two p o r t r a i t s o f P e r e Tanguy, F.363 and F.364 (autumn, 1 8 8 7 ) , t h a t i n t h e i r i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f s p e c i f i c J a p a n e s e m o t i f s w l t h J a p a n e s e p r i n t s on t h e w a l l 1 b e h i n d P e r e Tanguy, show V i n c e n t ' s , i n t e r e s t 168 i n e v o k i n g an o v e r a l l J a p a n e s e e f f e c t . The p a i n t e r , A.S. H a r t r i c k , who knew V i n c e n t d u r i n g h i s y e a r s i n P a r i s , has s u g g e s t e d t h a t V i n c e n t was g r e a t l y a t t r a c t e d a t t h i s t i m e t o t h e " w r i n k l e d p a p e r " e f f e c t o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t s , and a t t e m p t e d t o r e c r e a t e t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c by means o f a s t r i a t o r y b r u s h s t r o k e 169 t h a t gave a r o u g h s u r f a c e e f f e c t t o t h e c a n v a s . As O r t o n has p o i n t e d o u t , Romans P a r i s i e n s , F.359, (autumn, 1 8 8 7 ) , and The I t a l i a n Woman, F.381, (end 1887, o r J a n u a r y , 1888), show a s u r f a c e t e x t u r e c r e a t e d by a c r i s s - c r o s s s y s t e m o f h o r i z o n t a l and v e r t i c a l b r u s h s t r o k e s t h a t i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h an e m phasis on more i n t e n s e and u n i f o r m c o l o u r s u r f a c e s , seems t o c o r r e s p o n d t o H a r t r i c k ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f V i n c e n t ' s a t t e m p t t o c a p t u r e an. e f f e c t d e r i v e d 170 f r o m J a p a n e s e p r i n t s . I n t h i s c o n t e x t , t h e d a s h e s o f p i g m e n t u s e d t o r e n d e r t h e f o r m o f P e r e Tanguy i n P o r t r a i t o f P e r e Tanguy, F.363, t h a t i n i t i a l l y a p p e a r t o r e s e m b l e V i n c e n t ' s v a r i a n t o f a 171 n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t b r u s h w o r k , may a l s o r e f l e c t an e f f o r t t o r e -c r e a t e t h e w r i n k l e d p a p e r e f f e c t o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t s . However, i n t h e a v o i d a n c e o f d e t a i l e d c o l o u r and l i g h t a n a l y s i s t h a t had 172 c h a r a c t e r i z e d e a r l i e r n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t i n s p i r e d c a n v a s e s o f 1887, V i n c e n t ' s use o f b l u e - w h i t e d a s h e s o f p i g m e n t o v e r t h e b l u e j a c k e t 43 o f P e r e Tanguy, seem more an e f f o r t t o r e c r e a t e an e f f e c t o f a s o l i d c o l o u r a r e a a k i n t o t h o s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t . T h a t V i n c e n t may have had s u c h an e f f e c t i n mind i s s u g g e s t e d by h i s d e p i c t i o n o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t s on t h e w a l l b e h i n d P e r e Tanguy, where a s o l i d c o l o u r b a c k g r o u n d i s o v e r l a y e d w i t h d a s h e s o f a c l o s e l y r e l a t e d hue o f a l w e r o r h i g h e r v a l u e . Thus w h i l e a s p e c t s o f a n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t t e c h n i q u e — p r e d o m i n a n t l y t h e b r u s h w o r k o f s u p e r i m p o s e d d a s h e s o f p i g m e n t — a r e r e t a i n e d , t h e e f f o r t t o i m p l e m e n t t h e s i m p l i f i e d a r e a s o f c o l o u r o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t r e p l a c e s t h e c o n c e r n w i t h t h e d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s o f l i g h t and shadow e f f e c t s . I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t V i n c e n t a s s e r t s w h i l e i n A r i e s t h a t " i m p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t e r s " (a t e r m V i n c e n t u s e s t o r e f e r t o b o t h 173 o r t h o d o x i m p r e s s i o n i s t s and t o n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t s ) , had f e l t t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t , and t h a t J a p a n e s e a r t was 174 t h e r e f o r e t a k i n g r o o t i n F r a n c e . V i n c e n t , i n t h e s e s t a t e m e n t s i s r e f e r r i n g p r i m a r i l y t o t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e b r i g h t c l e a r c o l o u r s 175 o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t on t h e p a l e t t e o f t h e s e a r t i s t s . As w i l l be shown i n t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r , V i n c e n t ' s c o n c e r n w i t h e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r i s i m p o r t a n t t o t h e c a n v a s e s e x e c u t e d i n A r i e s . I t i s i n t h e s p r i n g and summer o f 18 88 a t A r i e s t h a t t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r e f f e c t s o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t i s s y n t h e s i z e d w i t h t h e i n f l u e n c e o f two a r t i s t s , D e l a c r o i x and M o n t i c e l l i , whom V i n c e n t saw as e x p l o r i n g t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f e x a g g e r a t e d and ex-p r e s s i v e c o l o u r s . The r e s u l t i s t h a t V i n c e n t ' s c o n c e r n w i t h t h e d e t a i l s o f l i g h t and c o l o u r o f an i m p r e s s i o n i s t v i s i o n i s e f f e c -t i v e l y t r a n s f o r m e d and r e p l a c e d . 44 CHAPTER I I I - THE MOVEMENT TOWARD EXAGGERATED COLOUR AT ARLES 176 V i n c e n t a r r i v e d i n A r i e s a t t h e end o f F e b r u a r y , 18 86, and l e t t e r s o f t h e s p r i n g o f 1888 r e c o r d h i s e n t h u s i a s m f o r t h e 177 b r i g h t c o l o u r s and c l e a r a t m o s p h e r e o f t h e s o u t h . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , V i n c e n t saw t h e s e - e f f e c t s a s b e s t r e n d e r e d i n t e r m s o f e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r s , and e s p e c i a l l y by means o f t h e hue c o n t r a s t s and com-178 179 p l e m e n t a r y c o n t r a s t s , t h a t h a d o c c u p i e d h i m i n Nuenen, and 180 i n P a r i s , and w h i c h V i n c e n t s e e s as e s s e n t i a l t o modern p a i n -181 t i n g . T h e r e a r e s e v e r a l m a j o r i n f l u e n c e s t h a t a r e i m p o r t a n t t o V i n c e n t ' s a r t a t t h i s t i m e , a n d w h i c h V i n c e n t d i r e c t l y a s s o c i a t e s w i t h t h e e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r e f f e c t s t h a t he s e e k s t o a c h i e v e i n h i s p a i n t i n g . As has been p o i n t e d o u t i n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r , t h e d e s i r e t o s e e t h e i n t e n s e c o l o u r s o f t h e c o u n t r y s i d e a r o u n d A r i e s i n terms o f t h e f l a t and e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r s o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t s , p e r v a d e - V i n c e n t ' s l e t t e r s - t o Theo, and ..Bernard t h r o u g h t h e s p r i n g 182 o f 1888. The o r c h a r d c a n v a s e s t o w h i c h V i n c e n t d e v o t e d him-183 s e l f i n A p r i l and May o f 18 88 a r e i n p a r t a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h i s J a p a n e s e v i s i o n . L i k e H i r o s h i q e ' s b l o s s o m i n g p l u m t r e e s 18 4 w h i c h V i n c e n t had c o p i e s w h i l e i n P a r i s , c e r t a i n o f t h e s e o r c h a r d c a n v a s e s p r o v i d e a f o c u s f o r an e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e simp-l i f i e d and e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r s and l i n e . I n h i s s e c o n d l e t t e r 45 w r i t t e n to Bernard from A r i e s , B3, (9 A p r i l , 1888), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s h i s working method i n these terms. R e f e r r i n g t o h i s work on a c u r r e n t canvas, Orchard Surrounded by Cypresses, F.513, V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s , Tout en t r a v a i l l a n t t o u j o u r s directement sur p l a c e , j e cherche a s a i s i r dans l e d e s s i n ce q u i e s t e s s e n t i e l — p u i s l e s espaces, l i m i t e s par des contours, exprimes ou mais s e n t i s , dans tous l e s cas, j e l e s remplis de tons s i m p l i f i e s egalement, dans ce sens que t o u t ce q u i s e r a t e r r a i n p a r t i c i p e r a d'un meme ton v i o l a c e , que t o u t l e c i e l aura une t o n a l i t e b l e u , que l e s verdures seront ou b i e n des v e r t s - b l e u s ou b i e n des v e r t s - j a u n e s , exagerant a d e s s e i n l e s q u a l i t e s jaunes ou bleues dans ce cas. E n f i n , mon cher c o p a i n , pas de trompe— l ' o e i l en tout cas. (B3) That t h i s emphasis on contours and s i m p l i f i e d areas of a s i n g l e hue i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Japanese a r t , i s made c l e a r when the passage above i s juxtaposed w i t h an o b s e r v a t i o n made to Bernard i n l e t t e r B6, (c. 24 June, 1888), i n r e f e r e n c e to V i n c e n t ' s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the p o s s i b i l i t y of a p p l y i n g hues to the canvas t h a t are unmixed, and come s t r a i g h t from the tube. To j u s t i f y t h i s r a d i c a l use of unmodified pigment V i n c e n t argues, ...et remarque que j e p a r l e de l a s i m p l i -f i c a t i o n de l a couleUr a l a j a p o n a i s . . . ...Car l e Japonpais f a i t a b s t r a c t i o n du r e f l e t , posant des t e i n t e s p l a t e s l'une a c o t i de l ' a u t r e , des t r a i t s c a r a c t e r i s t i q u e s a r r e t a n t des mouvements ou des formes. (B6) In the canvas Orchard Surrounded with Cypresses, F.513, comparatively s i m p l i f i e d areas of c o l o u r are achieved by means of V i n c e n t ' s l o o s e system of o v e r l a p p i n g dashes of pigment t h a t tend 185 to blend together on the canvas s u r f a c e . For example, the 46 v i o l e t s o i l t h a t surrounds the f l o w e r i n g t r e e s i n both the f o r e and middle ground of the composition i s o v e r p a i n t e d w i t h s m a l l s t r o k e s of p a l e y e l l o w pigment, t h a t blend and mix w i t h the v i o l e t impasto. In comparison t o the e f f e c t produced i n a work such as View from Montmartre, F .316 , where c o n t r a s t i n g hues were a p p l i e d 1 p c by means of c l e a r l y separated b r u s h s t r o k e s , t h i s b l e n d i n g of brushstrokes i n Orchard Surrounded by Cypresses, F . 5 1 3 , evokes a more uniform c o l o u r area. The y e l l o w reed f e n c e — t h e separate reeds i n d i c a t e d by a s i n g l e v e r t i c a l orange l i n e — i s a l s o able to be read as a s i n g l e c o l o u r area, and i n c o n j u n c t i o n with the l a r g e expanse of blue sky, a f f i r m s V i n c e n t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s canvas to Bernard i n l e t t e r B3,> (9 A p r i l , 1888), as e x h i b i t i n g c l e a r l y d e f i n e d c o l o u r areas, wherein c o l o u r and l i g h t e f f e c t s 187 are s i m p l i f i e d and share the same tone. In d e s c r i b i n g t h i s same canvas to Theo, V i n c e n t had w r i t t e n i n l e t t e r 470, (18 March, 1888), Je v o u l a i s a r r i v e r a y mettre des c o u l e u r s comme dans l e s v i t r a u x e t un d e s s i n a l i g n e s fermes. (470) While V i n c e n t ' s e f f o r t s to achieve l a r g e areas o f s i m p l i f i e d and exaggerated c o l o u r are r e a s s e r t e d i n t h i s statement, the r e f e r e n c e to c o l o u r e f f e c t s l i k e those i n s t a i n e d g l a s s windows, seems an obvious a l l u s i o n to the s i m p l i f i e d c o l o u r and design sought by Bernard and Anquentin i n 188 7, t h a t was d e r i v e d from the s i m p l i -f i e d forms and c o l o u r s found i n the Japanese p r i n t , s t a i n e d g l a s s 188 windows, and Images d ' E p i n a l . T h i s a l l u s i o n then, suggests V i n c e n t ' s own i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h such e f f o r t s to a t t a i n b o l d and 47 simple design and c o l o u r e f f e c t s . V i n c e n t ' s response to h i s own canvas, Le Pont de l ' A n g l o i s , F.39 7, r e a s s e r t s t h i s aim. In l e t t e r 479,(c. 24-27 A p r i l , 1888), Le Pont de l ' A n g l o i s , F.397, i s d e s c r i b e d as, ...une etude du l e s t e r r a i n s sont orange' v i f , l'herbe t r e s v e r t e , l e c i e l e t 1'eau b l e u . (473) T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of simple and b r i g h t c o l o u r c o n t r a s t s corresponds to the o v e r a l l e f f e c t of t h i s canvas t h a t d e p i c t s women washing at a r i v e r bank beside a stone causeway and wooden drawbridge t h a t span the composition h o r i z o n t a l l y . Blue, s i m i l a r i n i n t e n s i t y and v a r y i n g only s l i g h t l y i n t i n t , d e s c r i b e s both the expanse of sky t h a t a c t s as backdrop to the scene, and the r i v e r t h a t flows out from under the Pont de l ' A n g l o i s . The h o r i z o n t a l b l u e , white, orange, and y e l l o w b r u s h s t r o k e s t h a t render the r i p p l e s and r e -f l e c t i o n s on the r i v e r s u r f a c e do not d i m i n i s h the c o l o u r s i m i -l a r i t y between two areas. The sense of c o l o u r exaggeration c r e a t e d by these two l a r g e areas of i n t e n s e b l u e i s added to by two areas of orange and orange-yellow w i t h i n the composition. The foreground path t h a t borders the r i v e r i s rendered i n s m a l l brushstrokes t h a t blend an orange and y e l l o w impasto. The contours t h a t d e f i n e the wooden s u p e r s t r u c t u r e of the drawbridge are f i l l e d i n w i t h a f l a t orange and y e l l o w . While these c o l o u r exaggerations are l o g i c a l t o V i n c e n t — h e e x p l a i n s i n l e t t e r B6, (c. 24 June, 1888): "Pas de b l e u sans jaune et sans orange, e t s i vous f a i t s * 189 l e b l e u , f a i t e s doncs l e jaune, l'orange a u s s i , n'est-ce p a s " — t h e i n t e n s e c o l o u r s and c l e a r l y d e f i n e d contours i n Le Pont 48 l ' A n g l o i s , F.317, l e a d V i n c e n t t o o b s e r v e i n l e t t e r 500, ( c . 23 J u n e , 1888), f o l l o w i n g a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e 190 J a p a n e s e p r i n t on B e r n a r d and A n q u e n t i n , t h a t /'Le p o n t de 1 ' A n g l a i s ' p o u r r a i e n t a l l e r a A n q u e t i n " . T h i s remark a g a i n a s s e r t s V i n c e n t ' s a w a r e n e s s o f h i s own movement t o w a r d s i m p l i -191 f i e d and e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r a n d d e s i g n t h a t i s i n s p i r e d i n p a r t by t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t . V i n c e n t ' s movement t o w a r d e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r a t A r i e s i s n o t s o l e l y b a s e d upon t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e J a p a n e s e p r i n t , o r t h e d i r e c t i o n s p u r s u e d by c o n t e m p o r a r i e s l i k e B e r n a r d and A n q u e n t i n . In l e t t e r 477a, (20 o r 21 A p r i l , 1 8 88), w r i t t e n t o t h e a r t i s t J o h n R u s s e l l , V i n c e n t r e m a r k s t h a t he i s s t u d y i n g t h e same s c e n e r y t h a t o nce i n s p i r e d t h e p a i n t e r A d o l p h e M o n t i c e l l i , an a r t i s t who s p e n t a m a j o r p o r t i o n o f h i s l i f e p a i n t i n g i n M a r s e i l l e s , and who d i e d i n p o v e r t y i n 1886. W i t n e s s i n g t h e v e r y s c e n e r y t h a t i n s p i r e d M o n t i c e l l i . . . s u r e l y M o n t i c e l l i g i v e s us n o t , n e i t h e r p r e t e n d s t o g i v e u s , l o c a l c o l o u r , o r e v e n l o c a l t r u t h . B u t g i v e s us s o m e t h i n g p a s s i o n a t e and e t e r n a L r - t h e r i c h c o l o u r and r i c h sun o f t h e g l o r i o u s S o u t h i n a t r u e c o l o u r i s t way p a r a l l e l w i t h D e l a c r o i x ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e S o u t h v i z . t h a t t h e S o u t h be r e p r e s e n t e d now by c o n t r a s t e s i m u l t a n e o f c o l o u r s and t h e i r d e r i v a t i o n s and h a r m o n i e s and n o t by f orms and l i n e s i n t h e m s e l v e s . . . . , Q 9 (477a) V i n c e n t ' s a d m i r a t i o n f o r t h e work o f t h i s a r t i s t , stems f r o m t h e P a r i s p e r i o d , where he was i n t r o d u c e d t o t h e work o f M o n t i c e l l i 193 by A l e x a n d e r R e i d , who was a c o l l e c t o r o f M o n t i c e l l i ' s work, i 194 and by Theo, who owned s e v e r a l M o n t i c e l l i s a t t h i s t i m e . The s i m i l a r i t y o f many o f V i n c e n t ' s f l o w e r s t u d i e s i n t h e summer o f 49 1886, t o M o n t i c e l l i ' s s t i l l l i f e ' s - T p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e e m p h a s i s o f p u r e c o l o u r and t h e u s e o f a t h i c k i m p a s t o and l o a d e d b r u s h t h a t i s a b l e t o b l e n d i n a s i n g l e b r u s h s t r o k e t h e s u b t l e n u a n c e s and b l e n d s o f hue p i g m e n t s - - r e f l e c t s V i n c e n t ' s a t t r a c t i o n t o 195 M o n t i c e l l i ' s work. I n t h e l e t t e r t o R u s s e l l c i t e d a b o v e , V i n c e n t l i n k s M o n t i c e l l i t o D e l a c r o i x , t h e a r t i s t whom V i n c e n t had a d m i r e d s i n c e h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e c o l o u r laws by C h a r l e s 19 6 B l a n c i n 1884. T h i s a s s o c i a t i o n no d o u b t a r i s e s as M o n t i c e l l i u s e o f p u r e hues and a r i c h i m p a s t o was i n t e r p r e t e d by V i n c e n t as a r e s p o n s e t o s o u t h e r n l i g h t and c o l o u r , i n much t h e same way t h a t D e l a c r o i x ' s a p p r o a c h t o c o l o u r and e n s u i n g u s e o f s t r o n g c o l o u r c o n t r a s t s was u n d e r s t o o d as a l t e r e d r a d i c a l l y by a v i s i t 19 7 t o N o r t h A f r i c a . V i n c e n t compares M o n t i c e l l i and D e l a c r o i x as c o l o u r i s t s s p e c i f i c a l l y b e c a u s e o f t h e i r s i m i l a r a v o i d a n c e o f l o c a l c o l o u r i n f a v o u r o f i n t e n s e and e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r e f f e c t s . W h i l e V i n c e n t ' s e n g l i s h s y n t a x i s s u c h t h a t i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o d i s c e r n w h e t h e r he i s s p e a k i n g o f D e l a c r o i x and M o n t i c e l l i — o r o f p r e s e n t day a r t i s t s — w h e n he o b s e r v e s t h a t , " t h e S o u t h be r e p r e s e n t e d now by c o n t r a s t e s i m u l t a n e o f c o l o u r s and t h e i r d e r i v a t i o n s and h a r m o n i e s " , t h e i m p l i c a t i o n i s t h a t b o t h a r t i s t s were aware o f s u c h p r i n c i p l e s and u s e d them i n t h e i r d e p i c t i o n o f 199 s o u t h e r n l i g h t and c o l o u r . V i n c e n t ' s a s s e r t i o n a t t h e end o f t h i s p a s s a g e t h a t t h e s o u t h w i l l c o n t i n u e t o be r e n d e r e d i n c o l o u w i t h t h e a d v a n t a g e o f , " t h e more u n i v e r s a l k n owledge we have and p o s s e s s o f t h e p r i s m and t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s " , a t t e s t s t o h i s c o n -t i n u e d f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f c o n t r a s t and harmony. 50 Throughout the s p r i n g and e a r l y summer of 1888, V i n c e n t makes frequent r e f e r e n c e to M o n t i c e l l i and D e l a c r o i x as a r t i s t s who exaggerate t h e i r hues to capture the i n t e n s i t y and b r i l l i a n c e o f the southern s u n . 2 " " I t i s important to emphasize t h a t f o r Vi n c e n t t h i s i n t e r e s t i n the exaggerated c o l o u r o f these two a r t i s t s , does not pre c l u d e or d i m i n i s h an e f f o r t to a s s i m i l a t e the s i m p l i f i e d and exaggerated c o l o u r e f f e c t s of the Japanese p r i n t i n t o h i s a r t . As opposed t o the a r t of D e l a c r o i x and M o n t i c e l l i as the Japanese p r i n t may i n i t i a l l y seem, i t appears t h a t f o r V i n c e n t they shared important f e a t u r e s i n common. As a r t forms t h a t e x h i b i t the use of i n t e n s e hues and exaggerated c o l o u r e f f e c t s a l l three were c o n s i d e r e d able by V i n c e n t to cap-t u r e the c h a r a c t e r and q u a l i t y o f l i g h t and c o l o u r of the south. Thus, i n l e t t e r 500, (23 June, 1888), V i n c e n t can i n t i m a t e t h a t h i s e f f o r t t o achieve exaggerated c o l o u r i n A r i e s i s a s s o c i a t e d with h i s admiration o f an a r t i s t such as D e l a c r o i x whose c o l o u r moved toward more exaggerated c o n t r a s t s f o l l o w i n g h i s stay i n 201 A f r i c a , and a few sentences l a t e r , a s s o c i a t e the c o l o u r s of A r i e s , and by i m p l i c a t i o n h i s own p a i n t i n g , w i t h the c o l o u r of Japanese p r i n t s . . . . j e ressens t o u t a f a i t 1 1 importance q u ' i l y a de r e s t e r dans l e m i d i , e t de s e n t i r q u ' i l f a u t encore o u t r e r l a c o u l e u r davantage—1'Afrique pas l o i n de s o i . . . . Pour ce q u i e s t r e s t e r dans l e m i d i . . . voyons: on aime l a p e i n t u r e j a p o n a i s e , on en a s u b i 1 ' i n f l u e n c e , tous l e s im-p r e s s i o n i s t e s ont ca en commun, e t on m ' i r a i t pas au Japon, c ' e s t - a d i r e ce que e s t 1'equivalent du Japon, l e midi? Je c r o i s done qu'encore apres t o u t l ' a v e n i r de 1'art nouveau e s t dans l e m i d i . (500) 51 T h e r e i s a n o t h e r i n f l u e n c e on V i n c e n t ' s movement t o w a r d t h e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f e x a g g e r a t e d e f f e c t s i n h i s a r t t h a t emerges i n t h e s p r i n g o f 1888. I n l e t t e r 470, (18 M a r c h , 1888), V i n c e n t w r i t e s t o Theo t h a t he i s c u r r e n t l y r e a d i n g Guy de M a u p a s s a n t ' s n o v e l , P i e r r e e t J e a n . He a d d s , . . . a s - t u l u l a p r e f a c e , e x p l i q u a n t l a l i b e r t e qu'a 1 ' a r t i s t e d ' e x a g e r e r , de c r e e r une n a t u r e p l u s b e l l e , p l u s s i m p l e , p l u s c o n s o l a n t e dans un roman.... (470) de M a u p a s s a n t ' s " p r e f a c e " t o P i e r r e e t J e a n i s i n e f f e c t a l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e n t i t l e d , "Le Roman", t h a t r e p u d i a t e s t h e d e t a i l e d and 202 documented a n a l y s i s o f t h e n o v e l s o f Z o l a and Hugo. de Mauppasant a r g u e s i n f a v o u r o f a more p e r s o n a l i z e d v i e w o f r e a l i t y i n w h i c h t h e m u l t i t u d e o f f a c t s and a c t i o n s t h a t c o m p r i s e day t o day r e a l i t y a r e n o t documented i n d e t a i l , b u t s e l e c t e d and o r d e r e d 203 i n t e r m s o f t h e a r t i s t ' s v i e w p o i n t o r theme. To de M a u p a s s a n t , s u c h a method i s a b l e t o evoke an image o f r e a l i t y . t h a t i s more i n l i n e w i t h human p e r c e p t i o n , t h a t t e n d s t o s e l e c t and o r d e r 204 e x p e r i e n c e s and e v e n t s t o c r e a t e a p e r s o n a l " i l l u s i o n du monde". The w r i t e r ' s d u t y , t h e n , i s t o remove t r i v i a l i n c i d e n t f r o m h i s d e p i c t i o n and t o a m p l i f y and t o s e t i n a s p e c i a l l i g h t , " l e s evenements e s s e n t i e l s e t a d o n n e r a t o u s l e s a u t r e s l e d e g r e de r e l i e f q u i l e u r c o n v e n i e n t , s u i v a n t l e u r i m p o r t a n c e p o u r p r o d u i r e l a s e n s a t i o n p r o f o n d e de l a v e r i t e s p e c i a l e qu'on v e u t m o n t r e r " . 2 ^ To a c c o m p l i s h t h i s de M a u p a s s a n t a d v o c a t e s a s i m p l i f i e d s y n t a x 206 p a r e d down t o a s i n g l e v e r b and a s i n g l e a d j e c t i v e . T h i s e l i m i n a t i o n o f e x t r a n e o u s d e s c r i p t i o n i s t o a l l o w a c o m b i n a t i o n 52 of simple and b a s i c phrases to c r e a t e t h e i r own rhythm and to r e i n f o r c e s t y l i s t i c a l l y the nature o f the a r t i s t ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n . de Maupassant's p a r i n g down o f r e a l i t y to a l l but the e s s e n t i a l aspects of theme, and h i s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t s a l i e n t but l e s s obvious aspects of theme and s t r u c t u r e must be exaggerated, r e c a l l s immediately the focus of Bernard and Anquentin, i n P a r i s 207 i n 1887, and corresponds • to V i n c e n t '"s focus - i n "the -spring of 208 1888. T h i s s i m i l a r i t y of a e s t h e t i c theory no doubt p l a y s some r o l e i n V i n c e n t ' s i n t e r e s t i n the " p r e f a c e " . I t i s i n t -e r e s t i n g to note t h a t V i n c e n t ' s d i s c u s s i o n of de Maupassant's advocation of exaggeration, i s i n f a c t the f i r s t r e f e r e n c e made i n A r i e s to exaggeration as an a r t i s t i c aim. When, i n l a t e r weeks V i n c e n t o u t l i n e s h i s e f f o r t s to exaggerate p a r t i c u l a r e f f e c t s i n h i s work, h i s comments correspond to many of the p o i n t s r a i s e d by de Maupassant. For example, i n l e t t e r 490, (26 May, 1888), V i n c e n t w r i t e s : "Je cherche maintenant a exagerer 1.'essentiel, a l a i s s e r dans l e vague expres l e b a n a l " . T h i s statement r e c a l l s de Maupassant's recommendation t h a t t r i v i a l i n c i d e n t s be e l i m i n a t e d and the a r t i s t ' s main focus t h a t r e v e a l s 209 the c h a r a c t e r of the s u b j e c t be a m p l i f i e d . A c l o s e r dependance on de Maupassant's p h r a s i n g may be seen i n l e t t e r 500, (23 June, 1888). Here V i n c e n t f o l l o w s h i s remark on the n e c e s s i t y of remaining i n the south and exaggerating c o l o u r s , and h i s ob-210 s e r v a t i o n t h a t the m i d i i s the e q u i v a l e n t to Japan, w i t h a comment on the a b i l i t y o f photographic accuracy i n a r t to capture the essence of r e a l i t y . 53 . . . l e d e s s i n , l a c o u l e u r j u s t e , n ' e s t p a s p e u t - e t r e l ' e s s e n t i e l q u ' i l f a u t c h e r c h e r , c a r l e r e f l e t de l a r e a l i t e dans l e m i r o i r , s i c ' e t a i t p o s s i b l e de l e f i x e r a v e c c o u l e u r e t t o u t , ne s e r a i t aucunement un t a b l e a u , p a s d a v a n t a g e qu'une p h o t o g r a p h i e . (500) de M a u p a s s a n t i n t h e " p r e f a c e " t o P i e r r e e t J e a n had a l s o r e -marked on t h e i n a b i l i t y o f p h o t o g r a p h i c r e a l i t y t o r e f l e c t t h e human p e r s p e c t i v e , and i t was f o r t h i s r e a s o n t h a t he a d v o c a t e d e x a g g e r a t i o n o f a s p e c t s e s s e n t i a l t o t h e a r t i s t ' s f o c u s . Le r e a l i s t e , s ' i l e s t un a r t i s t e , c h e r c h e r a , non p a s a nous m o n t r e r l a ^ p h o t o g r a p h i e b a n a l e de l a v i e , m a i s a nous en d o n n e r l a v i s i o n p l u s c o m p l e t e , p l u s s a i s i s s a n t e , p l u s p r o b a n t e que l a r e a l i t e meme.211 A l r e a d y i n Nuenen, i n l e t t e r 402, ( l a s t week o f A p r i l , 1 8 8 5 ) , V i n c e n t had a r g u e d t h a t r e a l i t y was n o t , " l i t e r a l t r u t h , namely e x a c t d r a w i n g and l o c a l c o l o u r " . I n l e t t e r 418, ( J u l y , 1 8 8 5 ) , he had a s s e r t e d t h a t a c a d e m i c c o r r e c t n e s s , e v e n a p h o t o g r a p h o f a s u b j e c t , i s n o t a b l e t o c a p t u r e r e a l i t y . I f one p h o t o g r a p h s a d i g g e r , he c e r t a i n l y  w o u l d n o t be d i g g i n g t h e n . . . f o r me . M i l l e t and L h e r m i t t e a r e t h e r e a l a r t i s t s f o r t h e v e r y r e a s o n t h a t t h e y do n o t p a i n t t h i n g s as t h e y a r e , t r a c e d i n a d r y a n a l y t i c a l way, b u t as t h e y . . . f e e l them....my g r e a t l o n g i n g i s t o l e a r n t o make t h o s e v e r y i n c o r r e c t -n e s s e s , t h o s e d e v i a t i o n s , r e m o d e l l i n g s , c h a n g e s i n r e a l i t y , so t h a t t h e y may become, y e s , l i e s i f you l i k e — b u t t r u e r t h a n t h e l i t e r a l t r u t h . (418) de M a u p a s s a n t ' s i n s i s t e n c e , t h e n , o n t h e a r t i s t ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f r e a l i t y i s n o t new t o V i n c e n t . However, t h e a u t h o r ' s c o n c u r r e n c e w i t h V i n c e n t ' s own v i e w s c o n c e r n i n g t h e a v o i d a n c e o f d e t a i l e d t r a n s c r i p t i o n o f v i s u a l r e a l i t y , h i s a d v o c a t i o n o f s i m p l i f i c a t i o n 54 a n d e x a g g e r a t i o n a t a t i m e when t h e s e t e r m s w o u l d have a s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r V i n c e n t , and h i s c a l l f o r a new l i t e r a t u r e t o r e p l a c e t h e o l d d o c u m e n t a r y r e a l i s m o f Hugo and Z o l a , seems t o a c c o u n t f o r V i n c e n t ' s e n s u i n g u s e o f de M a u p a s s a n t as a symbol f o r a new o r d e r i n l i t e r a r y a r t . I n t u r n , t h i s l e a d s V i n c e n t t o c a l l f o r a s i m i l a r r e v o l u t i o n i n . t h e a r t o f p a i n t i n g . I n two l e t t e r s o f t h e s p r i n g .and- summer o f 1888, de M a u p a s s a n t ' s a c h i e v e -ment i n l i t e r a t u r e , i s s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l a t e d t o C l a u d e Monet's a c h i e v e m e n t i n l a n d s c a p e . P r e s u m a b l y t h e w r i t e r ' s c o n c e p t o f a s i m p l i f i e d s t y l e , i n t e n d e d t o r e i n f o r c e t h e a r t i s t ' s a m p l i f i -c a t i o n o f e l e m e n t s e s s e n t i a l t o h i s theme, seemed t o V i n c e n t t o p a r a l l e l Monet's u s e o f c o l o u r a nd b r u s h w o r k t o c a p t u r e h i s v i e w o f c o l o u r a nd a t m o s p h e r i c e f f e c t s i n n a t u r e . The a s s o c i a t i o n between t h e two a r t i s t s made by V i n c e n t , may a l s o stem f r o m h i s r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t Monet's a r t t h a t e x a g g e r a t e d p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t s 212 o f v i s i o n h a d r e v o l u t i o n i z e d p a i n t i n g i n t h e same way t h a t 213 de M a u p a s s a n t i n t e n d e d t o r e v o l u t i o n i z e t h e t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l . Thus i n l e t t e r 482, (3 o r 4 May, 1 8 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t w r i t e s , M a i s . . . . s e r a i s d i s - j e , rudement c o n t e n t , s i en p e i n t u r e i l nous v e n a i t un homme a l a Guy de M a u p a s s a n t p o u r p e i n d r e g a i e m e n t l e s b e l l e s gens e t c h o s e s d ' i c i . . . . m a i s c e que C l a u d e Monet e s t dans l e p a y s a g e , c e l a dans l a f i g u r e p e i n t e , q u i e s t - c e q u i f e r a c e l a ? P o u r t a n t t u d o i s s e n t i e r comme moi que c e l a e s t dans 1 ' a i r . . . . M a i s l e p e i n t u r e de l ' a v e n i r c ' e s t un c o l o r i s t e comme i l m'y  en a pas e n c o r e e u . (482) 55 Again i n l e t t e r 525, (15 August, 1888), V i n c e n t w r i t e s , J'aime mieux att e n d r e l a g e n e r a t i o n a v e n i r , q u i f e r a en p o r t r a i t ce que Claude Monet f a i t en paysage, l e paysage r i c h e e t crane a l a Guy de Maupassant. (525) While both these passages u n d e r l i n e V i n c e n t ' s i n t e r e s t i n f i g u r e 214 p a i n t i n g and the p o r t r a i t , they a l s o emphasize h i s b e l i e f i n an a r t o f c o l o u r , and h i s sense t h a t f u t u r e a r t w i l l be able to e x p l o r e new avenues of c o l o u r e x p r e s s i o n . In May and June o f 188 8 w i t h the f l o w e r i n g of the f r u i t t r e e s over, V i n c e n t ' s p a i n t e d s u b j e c t m a t t e r — d r a w n p r i m a r i l y from the landscape around A r i e s — r e f l e c t s h i s e f f o r t s t o implement s i m p l i f i e d and exaggerated c o l o u r and l i g h t e f f e c t s i n h i s work. In View w i t h I r i s e s , F.409, d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r s 487, (c. 12 May, 1888), and B5, (c. 19 May, 1888), s e v e r a l methods of r e n d e r i n g i n t e n s e c o l o u r and l i g h t are used throughout the composition. The landscape i s a d i a g o n a l view of a d i t c h of t a l l , green-stemmed i r i s e s t h a t border a l a r g e f i e l d o f mowed and s t a n d i n g b u t t e r c u p s . An a l l e y of t r e e s runs h o r i z o n t a l l y across the canvas behind t h i s y e l l o w f i e l d ; r o o f tops and church s t e e p l e s o f the town of A r i e s are v i s i b l e i n the d i s t a n c e under an expanse of t u r q u o i s e b l u e sky. Long v e r t i c a l s t r o k e s o f v a r i e d greens i n d i c a t e the t a l l s t a l k s and leaves of the foreground i r i s e s , and touches of purple 215 and l i l a c i n d i c a t e the p e t a l s o f the flower heads. The s t a l k s , l e a v e s , and p e t a l s of each p l a n t are d e l i n e a t e d roughly w i t h t h i n contour l i n e s of b l u e - b l a c k pigment g i v i n g a l i n e a r emphasis t h a t i s o l a t e s and d e f i n e s the i n d i v i d u a l forms. Although the flowers 56 and l e a v e s were no d o u b t d e l i n e a t e d i n t h i s way a f t e r t h e a p p l i -c a t i o n o f c o l o u r a r e a s t o t h e c a n v a s , t h e e f f e c t i s t h e o p p o s i t e and t h e c o n t o u r s a p p e a r t o have b e e n drawn f i r s t a nd t h e n f i l l e d i n by s o l i d a r e a s o f c o l o u r . I n marked c o n t r a s t t o t h i s f o r e -g r o u n d a r e a t h a t seems a t e c h n i c a l r e s p o n s e t o V i n c e n t ' s o b s e r -v a t i o n e x p r e s s e d i n l e t t e r 495, (9 J u n e , 1 8 8 8 ) : "Les c h o s e s d ' i c i o n t t a n t de s t y l e " , t h e f i e l d o f b u t t e r c u p s b e h i n d i s d e p i c t e d by s m a l l r e g u l a r t o u c h e s o f p i g m e n t and t h e r e f o r e r e n d e r e d by c o l o u r a l o n e . I n l e t t e r B5, ( c . 19 May, 1888), V i n c e n t n o t e s t h a t t h e f i e l d o f b u t t e r c u p s was i n t h e p r o c e s s o f b e i n g mowed w h i l e he p a i n t e d . To r e n d e r t h e mowed a r e a o f t h i s f i e l d , l i g h t a nd d a r k g r e e n p i g m e n t t o u c h e s a r e a p p l i e d o v e r t o p o f a f l a t y e l l o w - g o l d g r o u n d . T h e s e p i g m e n t t o u c h e s d i m i n i s h r a d i c a l l y i n s i z e i n t h e a r e a o f s t a n d i n g b u t t e r c u p s b e h i n d , and t h e t o u c h e s o f y e l l o w -g o l d p i g m e n t t h a t i n d i c a t e t h e . f i e l d o f f l o w e r s , p r e d o m i n a t e s . I m p astoed t o u c h e s o f w h i t e - v i o l e t p i g m e n t a r e l a y e d a l o n g s i d e t h e t o u c h e s o f g r e e n i n b o t h t h e mown and f l o w e r e d a r e a s o f t h e f i e l d , s u g g e s t i n g t h e i m p a c t o f v i b r a n t l i g h t and c o l o u r , as w e l l as u n i f y i n g t h e two a r e a s . The most d i s t a n t p a r t s o f t h e y e l l o w f i e l d a r e r e n d e r e d b y an i m p a s t o t h a t works t o g e t h e r b o t h y e l l o w a n d g r e e n . The t e x t u r e d s u r f a c e o f t h i s t h i c k p a i n t a l l o w s t h e v i b r a n t q u a l i t y e f f e c t e d by t h e t o u c h e s o f v i o l e t - w h i t e i n t h e c l o s e r a r e a s o f t h e f i e l d t o be r e t a i n e d ; a t t h e same t i m e t h i s t e c h n i q u e s u g g e s t s o b j e c t s and a r e a s p e r c e i v e d a t a g r e a t e r d i s -t a n c e as t h e more d e t a i l e d r e n d i t i o n o f l i g h t and c o l o u r c o n v e y e d by t h e v a r i e d t o u c h e s o f p i g m e n t i n t h e f o r e g r o u n d i s r e p l a c e d 57 by a s i n g l e c o l o u r a r e a . The l i n e o f t r e e s and d i s t a n t c i t y a r e d e l i n e a t e d i n a b l u e - b l a c k p i g m e n t (as w i t h t h e f o r e g r o u n d i r i s e s t h i s b o u n d i n g r c o n t o u r i s p r o b a b l y a s e c o n d a r y a d d i t i o n ) , and c o m p a r a t i v e l y f l a t a r e a s o f c o l o u r — o r a n g e s ' , r e d s and n e u t r a l g r a y s — a r e g i v e n t h e a p p e a r a n c e o f f i l l i n g i n t h e s e c o n t o u r s . The s o l i d c o l o u r o f t h e t u r q u o i s e s k y i s g i v e n a v i b r a n t q u a l i t y by an i r r e g u l a r b r u s h w o r k t h a t t e x t u r e s t h e i m p a s t o e d s u r f a c e . The m u l t i t u d e o f r i d g e s and p e a k s i n t h e p i g m e n t s u r f a c e i m p a r t an e f f e c t s i m i l a r t o t h a t o f t h e s m a l l t o u c h e s o f w h i t e - v i o l e t i m p a s t o t h a t s u g g e s t t h e v i b r a n t e f f e c t o f s u n l i g h t on t h e f i e l d b e l o w . A l t h o u g h t h e View w i t h I r i s e s , F.409, was n o t t h e f i n i s h e d p i c t u r e t h a t V i n c e n t had h oped t o a c h i e v e , 2 1 J ? a c o m p a r i s o n w i t h t h e l a n d s c a p e s t u d y F a r m . A m o n g C o r n f i e l d s , F ; 408 , ..that i s a l s o d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 487, ( c . 12 May, 1888), i l l u s t r a t e s t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h c o l o u r and l i g h t e f f e c t s have been s i m p l i f i e d and 2 1 7 e x a g g e r a t e d i n V i n c e n t ' s work. I n t h e c a n v a s , Farm.Among C o r n -f i e l d s , F.408, a s m a l l w h i t e h o u s e w i t h r e d r o o f s t a n d s i n t h e c e n t r e o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n , d w a r f e d by t h e g r e e n f i e l d i n f r o n t o f i t , t h e l a r g e t r e e s t h a t l i n e t h e s i d e o f a r o a d , and by t h e b l u e s k y w i t h c l o u d s o v e r h e a d . I n t e r m s o f c o l o u r , V i n c e n t i n t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n has r e n d e r e d n u a n c e s o f l i g h t , s h a d e , and e n s u i n g c o l o u r m o d i f i c a t i o n s . The g r a y t r u n k o f t h e l a r g e t r e e i s mod-u l a t e d by s i n g l e s t r o k e s o f s u b d u e d r e d s , y e l l o w s a n d b l u e s ; t h e l e a v e s a r e r e n d e r e d by an u n d e r p a i n t o f g r e e n o v e r t o p o f w h i c h i s a p p l i e d p o i n t i l i s t t o u c h e s o f o r a n g e , b l u e , d a r k g r e e n and o c h r e . 58 S i m i l a r l y the green f i e l d i s d e p i c t e d by s m a l l v e r t i c a l s t r o k e s o f dark and l i g h t greens, ochres, and grayed v a r i a t i o n s and combinations of these c o l o u r s ; the sky i s made hazy by a l a r g e expanse of yellow-white c l o u d , and modulated and f l e c k e d w i t h patches o f b l u e . These d e l i c a t e c o l o u r modulations deny both s i m p l i c i t y o f c o l o u r e f f e c t s i n a given area, and as w e l l d e t r a c t from c o l o u r i n t e n s i t y . The d e t a i l e d brushwork t h a t renders these v a r i a t i o n s s i m i l a r l y c o n t r a d i c t s both s i m p l i f i c a t i o n and exaggeration. The Harvest, F.412, d e s c r i b e d f i r s t i n l e t t e r s 496, (12 June, 1888), 497, (12 or 13 June, 1888), and 498, (c. 15 or 16 June, 1888), e x p l o r e s a d i f f e r e n t means o f e x p r e s s i n g i n t e n s e c o l o u r . The scene i s observed from an e l e v a t e d viewpoint which a f f o r d s a v i s t a of f l a t patchwork f i e l d s which recede i n t o the d i s t a n c e , up to a l i n e of low f o o t h i l l s . Except f o r the f o r e -ground of t h i s composition where s h o r t dashes of pigment render the grass and fences t h a t e n c l o s e s m a l l evergreen t r e e s . and a l a r g e haystack, the c l e a r l i g h t and i n t e n s e c o l o u r t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e the r e c e d i n g f i e l d s , and the b u i l d i n g . - s c a t t e r e d on them, i s expressed by areas of c o l o u r rendered w i t h a minimum of brushwork, impasto, 218 or hue or value v a r i a t i o n s . The sky above t h i s v scene i s r e n -dered i n f l a t c o l o u r w i t h no v a r i a t i o n of hue or t e x t u r e . T h i s emphasis of f l a t c o l o u r s i s r e i n f o r c e d by the c l e a r contours t h a t d e f i n e the forms of farm b u i l d i n g s , hay c a r t s , and the f o o t h i l l s i n the d i s t a n c e . The f i e l d s on the f l a t p l a i n assume a g r i d - l i k e c h a r a c t e r as they are c l e a r l y d e l i n e a t e d by borders of s m a l l green 59 t r e e s , o r a t h i n b l u e l i n e t h a t s u g g e s t s a b o r d e r i n g pathway. The c l e a r l y d e f i n e d f o r m s and s i m p l i f i e d and f l a t a r e a s o f c o l o u r i n t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n o b v i o u s l y p l e a s e d V i n c e n t . I n l e t t e r 497, (12 o r 13 J u n e , 1888), he r e m a r k s : "La d e r n i e r e t o i l e (The H a r v e s t , F.412), t u e a b s o l u m e n t t o u t l e r e s t e , i l n'y a qu'une n a t u r e m o r t e a v e c des c a f e t i e r e s e t des t a s s e s e t a s s i e t t e s en b l e u e t j a u n e , q u i se t i e n n e a c o t e " . I n l e t t e r 498, ( c . 15 o r 16 J u n e , 1888), V i n c e n t r e a s s e r t s t h a t The H a r v e s t , F.412, k i l l s a l l h i s p r e v i o u s works w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f a c a n v a s o f a s t i l l l i f e . " La M o i s s o n . . . . c ' e s t l e m o t i f a u q u e l j ' a i t r a v a i l l e c e t t e s e m aine . . . c a me t u e l e r e s t e que j ' a i , a 1 ' e x c e p t i o n d'une n a t u r e m o r t e t r a v a i l l e e a v e c p a t i e n c e " . I n t h e s e l e t t e r s V i n c e n t compares h i s c a n v a s t o a s t i l l l i f e o f b l u e and y e l l o w c u p s and s a u c e r s , S t i l l L i f e w i t h B l u e C o f f e e P o t , F.16. A b r i e f e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h i s c a n v a s r e v e a l s a s p e c t s o f V i n c e n t ' s w o r k i n g method i n The H a r v e s t , F.412. The S t i l l L i f e w i t h B l u e C o f f e e P o t , F.416, i s d e s c r i b e d t o Theo i n l e t t e r 489, ( c . 19 May, 1888), and t o B e r n a r d i n B5, ( c . 19 May, 1888); i n b o t h l e t t e r s a s k e t c h o f t h e c a n v a s i s i n c l u d e d a s w e l l . V i n c e n t e m p h a s i z e s i n b o t h d e s c r i p t i o n s t h a t t h e c o m p o s i t i o n i s b a s e d on c o m b i n a t i o n s o f b l u e s and o r a n g e -219 y e l l o w s . The o b j e c t s i n t h i s s t i l l l i f e a r e c l e a r l y d e l i n e a t e d i n t h e two s k e t c h e s i n t h e l e t t e r s t o Theo and B e r n a r d , and i n V i n c e n t ' s c a n v a s o f t h e s u b j e c t t h i s e m p h a s i s o f c o n t o u r s i s r e t a i n e d . The way c o l o u r g r o u p i n g s a r e j u x t a p o s e d r e i n f o r c e t h i s e m phasis o f f o r m . A l l t h e o b j e c t s o f t h e s t i l l l i f e a r e s e t upon a p a l e b l u e t a b l e c l o t h a n d a g a i n s t a p a l e y e l l o w , o r c i t r o n g r e e n 60 background. In t h i s way the forms of the blue enamel c o f f e e pot and r o y a l blue cup and saucer stand out c l e a r l y , as do the three y e l l o w lemons s e t i n f r o n t o f the blue c o f f e e pot and the orange s e t behind the blue cup and saucer and a g a i n s t the y e l l o w background. The c a r e f u l arrangement of o b j e c t s so t h a t c o n t r a s t -i n g hues are s e t one a g a i n s t the o t h e r i s maintained throughout the composition. The p a l e c o b a l t and white checked milk jug c o n t r a s t s w i t h the p a l e c i t r o n green background a g a i n s t which i t i s s e t , and w i t h the dark blue of the enamel c o f f e e pot, the spout of which i s p l a c e d s l i g h t l y i n f r o n t of the j u g . The cup decorated i n orange and blue i s p l a c e d i n a y e l l o w saucer, and s e t a g a i n s t the green,brown,and pink m a j o l i c a j u g . The areas of s o l i d c o l o u r , rendered by a comparatively smooth brush-work and a f a i r l y t h i c k pigment, r e i n f o r c e the d e l i n e a t i o n o f forms by c l e a r contour l i n e s . S t y l i s t i c a l l y t h i s canvas probably d e r i v e s from Bernard's c l o i s i o n i s t s t i l l l i f e i n blue and y e l l o w 220 of 1887, and so r e f l e c t s V i n c e n t ' s i n t e r e s t i n the w e l l d e f i n e d contours and s o l i d areas o f c o l o u r of Bernard's and Anquentin's 221 a r t of 1887. S t i l l , the movement toward more s o l i d areas of c o l o u r , evidenced i n t h i s canvas, r a t h e r than areas b u i l t up from a m u l t i t u d e of separate brushstrokes and touches of pigment, i s important to the e v o l u t i o n o f V i n c e n t ' s s i m p l i f i e d and exaggerated c o l o u r . To apply such f l a t c o l o u r s to the deep space of a l a n d -scape i s d i f f i c u l t . In The Harvest, F.412, the problem i s i n p a r t P22 s o l v e d by the l e v e l landscape i t s e l f , an e f f e c t t h a t i s f u r t h e r e d by the high h o r i z o n t h a t serves to t i p up and f l a t t e n the landscape, 61 a l l o w i n g a g r e a t e r e m p h a s i s t o be g i v e n t o t h e s u r f a c e p a t t e r n o f t h e f i e l d s . T h e s e f i e l d s as h a s b e e n p o i n t e d o u t a l r e a d y , a r e r e n d e r e d by u n i f o r m a r e a s o f c o l o u r t h a t a c c e n t t h e l i n e a r d i v i -s i o n s . The s c a t t e r e d f a r m b u i l d i n g s a r e a l s o r e n d e r e d i n t e r m s o f s i m p l i f i e d c o l o u r a r e a s . The s u n l i t s i d e s a r e a s o l i d w h i t e , t h e r o o f s a r e o r a n g e , and t h e s h a d e d s i d e s o f t h e b u i l d i n g s a r e e x a g g e r a t e d t o a s o l i d b l u e t h a t c l e a r l y s e t s o f f t h e f o r m o f t h e s t r u c t u r e s f r o m t h e e x p a n s e o f y e l l o w f i e l d s t h a t s u r r o u n d them. T h i s f l a t b l u e t i e s i n w i t h o t h e r s m a l l a r e a s o f b l u e w i t h i n t h e c o m p o s i t i o n — t h e u n l i t s i d e o f t h e f o r e g r o u n d f e n c e , t h e b l u e c a r t i n t h e c e n t r e o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n , a s m a l l f i g u r e and b l u e c a r t c r o s s i n g t h e l e v e l p l a i n , f a r t h e r o f f i n t h e d i s t a n c e and f i n a l l y t h e s l o p e s o f t h e h i l l s on t h e h o r i z o n . The r e d - o r a n g e o f t h e r o o f s a r e r e p e a t e d t h r o u g h t h e c o m p o s i t i o n i n a s i m i l a r way, a r t i -c u l a t i n g t h e s u n l i t s i d e o f t h e f o r e g r o u n d f e n c e , and d e f i n i n g a two w h e e l c a r t i n t h e m i d d l e g r o u n d and s e t t i n g i t o f f f r o m t h e c i t r o n f i e l d . I n t h e d i s t a n c e a c r o s s t h e p l a i n , t h i s o r a n g e i s r e p e a t e d i n t h e r o o f s o f t h e f a r m h o u s e s , and i s b a r e l y d i s c e r n i b l e i n t h e d i s t a n t s l o p e s o f Mount M a j o u r . T h e s e h u e s , u s e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e v a r i o u s d i s t a n c e s o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n , u n d e r g o o n l y t h e s l i g h t -e s t v a r i a t i o n i n i n t e n s i t y , and s u p p o r t t h e e m p h a s i s o f f l a t -i n t e n s e c o l o u r , u n v a r y i n g l i g h t and w e l l d e f i n e d f o r m s , t h a t t h e c a n v a s as a w h o l e p r e s e n t s . The b a n d o f s k y , w h i c h V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s i n l e t t e r 497, (12 o r 13 J u n e , 1888), as , " 1 ' a z u r e v e r t e . . . c h a u f f e s a b l a n c " , i s r e n d e r e d as a l a r g e e x p a n s e o f f l a t c o l o u r , u n v a r i e d i n hue, v a l u e o r t e x t u r e , and s i m i l a r l y adds t o t h e i m p a c t o f f l a t u n m o d u l a t e d c o l o u r . 62 I n V i n c e n t ' s f o l l o w i n g c a n v a s e s o f J u n e , 18 88, t h e move-ment t o w a r d j u x t a p o s i t i o n s o f i n t e n s e hues and hue v a r i a t i o n s , and t h e m a n i p u l a t i o n o f l a r g e r a r e a s o f s o l i d o r u n i f o r m c o l o u r — e i t h e r f l a t o r impastoed—becomes a m a j o r c o m p o s i t i o n a l d e v i c e . Common t o t h e s e works i s t h a t t h e e m p h a s i s g i v e n t o c o n t o u r and f l a t i n t e n s e c o l o u r t h r o u g h o u t an e n t i r e c o m p o s i t i o n , a s i n t h e S t i l l  L i f e w i t h C o f f e e P o t , F.410, and The H a r v e s t , F.412,/is n o t r e p e a t e d i n o t h e r w o r k s , a t e n d e n c y w h i c h a r i s e s more t h a n l i k e l y f r o m t h e a b i l i t y o f i n t e n s e u n i f o r m c o l o u r s , and c o l o u r c o n t r a s t s t o d e f i n e t h e i r own c o n t o u r s . I n The Wheat f i e l d F.411, f o r example, t h e v i s t a t a k e s i n f o r e g r o u n d g r a s s and f l o w e r s , a l o n g y e l l o w f i e l d t h a t i s b o r d e r e d t o t h e r i g h t o f t h e v i e w e r by t a l l c y p r e s s e s and t o t h e l e f t by a n a r r o w s t r i p o f a g r e e n f i e l d . A g a i n s t t h e h o r i z o n i s a l i n e o f t r e e s w i t h one r e d r o o f e d f a r m b u i l d i n g , and b e h i n d , low b l u e f o o t h i l l s . Above i s a n a r r o w band o f t u r q u o i s e s k y . The f o c u s i n t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n i s c l o s e up and eye l e v e l . I n d i r e c t o p p o s i t i o n t o t h e t i l t e d up, a l m o s t c o n c a v e p a n o r a m i c v i e w o f The H a r v e s t , F.412, t h i s v i e w c a u s e s t h e f o r e -g r o u n d t o be r e n d e r e d i n d e t a i l and t h e l a n d s c a p e t o c u r v e away, down t o w a r d t h e h o r i z o n . The w i d e band o f g r a s s and f l o w e r s i n t h e f o r e g r o u n d o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n i s r e n d e r e d by j u x t a p o s e d s t r o k e s and d a s h e s o f p i g m e n t t h a t m a n i p u l a t e v a r i o u s hue c o n t r a s t s . A row o f g r a s s i s d e p i c t e d i n n e u t r a l browns, o c h r e , and a p a l e r e d - o r a n g e , b u t h i g h l i g h t e d by a row o f s h o r t g r a s s e s composed o f i n t e n s e b l u e - v i o l e t and g r e e n s t r o k e s o f p i g m e n t . B e h i n d , s h o r t d a s h e s o f h i g h v a l u e d h u e s — l i g h t t u r q u o i s e g r e e n , o r a n g e , p a l e l i l a c , and a h i g h v a l u e d y e l l o w — a r e l a y e d s i d e by s i d e and o v e r -63 l a p p e d , and g i v e t h e e f f e c t o f a mass o f v a r i o u s g r a s s e s , i n d i v i -d u a l l y p e r c e i v e d , b e n t i n t h e w i n d . T h e s e p i g m e n t t o u c h e s merge w i t h o r a n g e and i n t e n s e y e l l o w t o u c h e s t h a t a r e l a i d o v e r t h e y e l l o w i m p a s t o o f t h e w h e a t f i e l d . No d e l i n e a t i n g c o n t o u r s (as i n t h e View w i t h I r i s e s , F . 4 0 9 ) , a r e n e e d e d t o g i v e t h i s f o r e -g r o u n d a r e a o f g r a s s d e t a i l o r v i b r a n t i m p a c t , a s g r a s s e s ^ a r e d e f i n e d by v a r i e d hue c o n t r a s t s . I n a s i m i l a r way, t h e d i v i s i o n between a r e a s s u c h as t h a t between t h e f o r e g r o u n d g r a s s and t h e f i e l d o f wheat b e h i n d i s a l s o d e f i n e d by a hue c o n t r a s t . I n t h i s c a s e t h e y e l l o w o f t h e w h e a t f i e l d c o n t r a s t s w i t h a n a r r o w b a n d o f l i l a c p i g m e n t t o u c h e s t h a t a r e a p p l i e d t o t h e b o r d e r o f t h e f o r e g r o u n d g r a s s a r e a . The r e m a i n d e r o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n f e a t u r e s more s i m p l i f i e d c o l o u r a r e a s . A d a r k g r e e n i m p a s t o d e p i c t s t h e c y p r e s s e s t h a t s t a n d t o t h e r i g h t o f t h e w h e a t f i e l d and a f l a t o l i v e g r e e n d e p i c t s t h e f i e l d s t o t h e l e f t o f t h e c e n t r a l y e l l o w c o r n f i e l d . The low b l u e - v i o l e t m o u n t a i n s on t h e h o r i z o n a r e r e n d e r e d i n t e r m s o f f l a t c o l o u r , as i s t h e t u r q u o i s e s k y a b o v e . V i n c e n t ' s c o n c e r n w i t h o b t a i n i n g e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r e f f e c t s i s r e i n f o r c e d by a week l o n g v i s i t t o t h e c o a s t a l v i l l a g e o f S a i n t e s M a r i e s i n m i d J u n e , 1 8 8 8 . 2 2 3 I n l e t t e r 500, (23 J u n e , 1888), w r i t t e n w h i l e i n S a i n t e s M a r i e s , V i n c e n t o b s e r v e s t o Theo t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f r e m a i n i n g i n t h e s o u t h o f F r a n c e , " e t de s e n t i r q u ' i l f a u t e n c o r e o u t r e r l a c o u l e u r d a v a n t a g e . . . . " . To B e r n a r d , i n l e t t e r B6, ( c . 24 J u n e , 1888), w r i t t e n s h o r t l y a f t e r h i s r e t u r n f r o m t h e c o a s t a l v i l l a g e , V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s s e v e r a l t h e o r e t i c a l m o t i f s i n t e r m s o f j u x t a p o s i t i o n s o f f l a t s i m p l i f i e d c o l o u r s , 64 arguing t h a t , " l e Japonais f a i t a b s t r a t i o n du r e f l e t , posant des t e i n t e s p l a t e s l'une a cote de l ' a u t r e , des t r a i t s c a r a c t e r i s t i q u e s a r r e t a n t des mouvements ou des formes". V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s two m o t i f s , a cottage a g a i n s t a y e l l o w sky, and a c o t t a g e on an.orange f i e l d , t o show how such s i m p l i f i e d c o l o u r s may be a l t e r e d f u r t h e r by the a r t i s t to accentuate the complementaries t h a t are c a l l e d f o r t h by the v a r i o u s hues o f the southern sky. ...lorsqu'on compose un m o t i f de c o u l e u r s exprimant par exemple un c i e l jaune du s o i r , l e b l a n c c r u et dur d'un mur b l a n c c o n t r e l e c i e l a l a r i g e u r s'exprime, e t d'une facon etrange, par l e b l a n c c r u r a b a t t u par un ton neutre, c a r l e c i e l meme l e c o l o r e d'un ton l i l a s f i n . Encore dans ce paysage s i n a i f l e q u e l e s t Sense, nous r e p r e s e n t e r une cabane b l a n c h i e entierement a l a chaux ( l e t o i t a u ssx), posee sur un t e r a i n orange c e r t e s , c a r l e c i e l du m i d i e t l a mediterranee bleue, provoquent un orange d'avtant p l u s i n t e n s e que l a gamme des bleues e s t p l u s montee de t o n . . . . o r > . (B6) ^ 4 The passage here f u r t h e r s a statement made at the c l o s e o f l e t t e r 500, (23 June, 1888), w r i t t e n from S a i n t e - M a r i e s i n which V i n c e n t had c i t e d P i s s a r r o ' s a d v i c e concerning the m a n i p u l a t i o n of c o l o u r e f f e c t s . Ce que d i t P i s s a r r o e s t v r a i , i l f a u d r a i t hardiment exagerer l e s e f f e t s que p r o d u i s e n t par l e u r s accords ou l e u r s d i s a c c o r d s l e s c o u l e u r s . (500) S i g n i f i c a n t l y , V i n c e n t f o l l o w s t h i s statement w i t h the observa-225 t i o n r e f e r r e d t o e a r l i e r i n t h i s c h a p ter. . . . l e d e s s i n , l a c o u l e u r j u s t e , n'est pas peut-§tre l ' e s s e n t i e l q u ' i l f a u t chercher, c a r l e r e f l e t de l a r e a l i t e dans l e m i r o i r , s i c ' e t a i t p o s s i b l e de l e f i x e r avec c o u l e u r et t o u t , ne s e r a i t aucunement un t a b l e a u , pas davantage qu'une photographie. (500) 65 The suggestion i n t h i s passage i s t h a t exaggeration o f c o l o u r (and design) are ab l e to present aspects o f r e a l i t y t h a t are e s s e n t i a l t o the a r t i s t . While V i n c e n t does not s p e c i f i c a l l y l i n k exaggerated c o l o u r harmonies and c o n t r a s t s w i t h emotive p r o p e r t i e s a t t h i s t i m e — the l i n k i s made some weeks l a t e r , i n l e t t e r 520, (11 August, 1888) 2 2 — t h i s merging of V i n c e n t ' s d i s d a i n f o r photographic r e a l i t y with a concern w i t h not o n l y exaggerated and s i m p l i f i e d c o l o u r s , but exaggeration o f c o l o u r harmonies and contrasts,foreshadows the concern w i t h s u g g e s t i v e p r o p e r t i e s of c o l o u r t h a t i s c r u c i a l to V i n c e n t ' s a r t through the l a t e summer and e a r l y f a l l of 1888. 66 CHAPTER IV THE RE-EMERGENCE OF SUGGESTIVE COLOUR IN JULY AND AUGUST 1888. I t i s a t the end o f June, 1888, t h a t V i n c e n t embarks upon s e v e r a l canvases t h a t l e a d him from a d i s c u s s i o n o f exaggerated c o l o u r , t o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the s u g g e s t i v e o r e x p r e s s i v e prop-e r t i e s o f c o l o u r . The Sower, F.422, f i r s t d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r s B7, (c. 28 June, 1888), and 501, (c. 29 June, 1888), a p o r t r a i t , The Zouave, F.423, d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 501, (c. 29 June, 1888), and a View of the Rhone from the B r i d g e a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F.426, d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 503, (c. 6 J u l y , 1888), are canvases c o n c e i v e d w i t h i n a few days o f each o t h e r , and as V i n c e n t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s of, each i n d i c a t e , are attempts t o experiment w i t h c o l o u r r e l a t i o n -s h i p s t h a t are e x p r e s s i v e i n themselves. I t i s i n V i n c e n t ' s r e f e r e n c e s t o the c o l o u r s t r u c t u r e s o f these t h r e e canvases, and a canvas executed i n mid August, P o r t r a i t o f P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F.443, d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 520, (11 August, 1888), t h a t an i n d i c a -t i o n o f how c o l o u r i s t o take on an e x p r e s s i v e and s u g g e s t i v e r o l e i s g i v e n . The Sower , p. 422 The composition o f The Sower, F.422, i s d i v i d e d i n t o t h r e e h o r i z o n t a l bands. The l a r g e s t band t h a t comprises almost the lower two t h i r d s o f the canvas i s t h a t o f a f l a t f i e l d o f clumps o f 67 earth that stretches from the foreground into the middle distance. Blue-violet dashes of pigment, applied over a brown and v i o l e t ground,cover this f i e l d . Smaller touches of orange and white-v i o l e t pigment are superimposed over the bl u e - v i o l e t dashes. A narrow band of standing wheat runs h o r i z o n t a l l y across the canvas behind the f i e l d of sods, and i s rendered with v e r t i c a l brushstrokes and a thick gold pigment. The t h i r d horizontal band i s that of the yellow sky, with a large yellow setting sun i n i t s centre, the lower rim of which has already disappeared behind the wheat. The sky i s gold and flecked with dashes of gold, green,and yellow pigment that emanate i n a r a y - l i k e pattern from the rim of the yellow sun. The sower i s set on the b l u e - v i o l e t f i e l d to one side of the sun. He strides diagonally across the f i e l d casting seed from a sack slung over his shoulder. His s h i r t and trousers are rendered i n the same bl u e - v i o l e t as the f i e l d of freshly turned earth; as such he i s dwarfed to some extent by the f i e l d upon which he works and the large sun behind, which occupies the centre of the composition. In Vincent's f i r s t description of The Sower, F.422, to Theo i n l e t t e r 501, (c. 29 June, 1888), the significance of colour 227 to t h i s composition i s underlined. J ' a i eu une semaine d'un t r a v a i l l e serre et raide dans les bles en p l e i n s o l e i l , i l en est resulte des etudes de bles, paysages et—une e'quise de semeur. Sur un champe laboure un grand champ de mottes de terre violettes—montant vers N 1'horizon un semeur en bleu et blanc. A 1'horizon un champ de ble mur court. Sur tont cela un c i e l jaune avec un s o l e i l jaune. 68 Tu s e n s a l a s i m p l e n o m e n - c l a t u r e d e s t o n -a l i t e s , que l a c o u l e u r j o u e dans c e t t e com-p o s i t i o n un r o l e t r d s i m p o r t a n t . (501) To B e r n a r d i n l e t t e r B7, ( c . 28 J u n e , 18 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t f o l l o w s a 22 8 s i m i l a r d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e c a n v a s by o b s e r v i n g t h a t a l t h o u g h The Sower, F.422, d e p a r t s f r o m t r u t h t o l o c a l c o l o u r s , he has d e l i b e r a t e l y c r e a t e d a j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f y e l l o w and v i o l e t . T h e s e two c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s a r e mixed t o g i v e t h e n e u t r a l c o l o u r s o f t h e 2 29 f r e s h l y t u r n e d e a r t h i n t h e f o r e g r o u n d . I n t e r m s o f t h e comp-o s i t i o n as a w h o l e , v i o l e t p r e d o m i n a t e s i n t h e l o w e r h a l f o f t h e c a n v a s , and y e l l o w i n t h e u p p e r h a l f . The abandonment o f l o c a l c o l o u r i n The Sower, F.422, i s i n p a r t an e f f o r t t o m a x i m i z e t h e e f f e c t o f t h i s j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f a com p l e m e n t a r y p a i r . I I y a b i e n des r a p p e l s de j a u n e d ans l e t e r r a i n , des t o n n e u t r e s r e s u l t a n t du melange du v i o l e t a v e c l e j a u n e ; m a i s j e me s u i s un peu f o u t u de l a v e r i t e de l a c o u l e u r . . .Prenons l e Semeur. L e t a b l e a u e s t coupe en deux, une m o i t i e e s t j a u n e , l e h a u t ; l e bas e s t v i o l e t . Eh b i e n , l e p a n t a l o n b l a n c r e p o s e l ' o e i l e t l e d i s t r a i t au moment ou l e c o n t r a s t e s i m u l t a n e e x c e s s i f de j a u n e e t de v i o l e t l ' a g a g e r a i t . (B7) Z J U I n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d why t h e j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f c o m p l e -m e n t a r i e s i s i m p o r t a n t t o The Sower, F.422, i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o o u t l i n e V i n c e n t ' s r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e s u g g e s t i v e and e x p r e s s i v e p o t e n t i a l o f c o l o u r d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d i n w h i c h t h i s c a n v a s was p a i n t e d . I n l e t t e r 503, ( c . 6 J u l y , 1 888), V i n c e n t i n d i c a t e s t o Theo t h a t he has r e t o u c h e d t h e c a n v a s o f The Sower, F.422, a d d i n g 231 g r e e n t o t h e a r e a o f y e l l o w s k y and o r a n g e t o t h e v i o l e t s o i l . He adds t h a t t h i s m o t i f must be p a i n t e d i n c o l o u r , e x p l a i n i n g by 69 means o f a r e f e r e n c e t o a D e l a c r o i x c a n v a s , t h a t c o l o u r i s a b l e t o be e x p r e s s i v e i n i t s e l f . L a q u e s t i o n demuere c e l l e - c i - L a B a r q u e du C h r i s t d'Eugene D e l a c r o i x e t Le Semeur s o n t d'une f a c t u r e a b s o l u m e n t d i f f e r e n t e . L a B a r q u e du C h r i s t — j e p a r l e de l ' e q u i s s e b l e u e e t v e r t e a v e c t a c h e s v i o l e t t e s , r o u g e s e t un peu de j a u n e c i t r o n p o u r l e nimbe, 1 ' a u r e o l e — p a r l e un l a n g a g e s y m b o l i q u e p a r l a c o u l e u r meme. Le Semeur de M i l l e t e s t g r i s i n c o l o r e , • comme l e s o n t l e s t a b l e a u x d ' I s r a e l s a u s s i . P e u t - o n m a i n t e n a n t p e i n d r e "Le Semeur" a v e c de l a c o u l e u r , a v e c un c o n t r a s t e s i m u l t a n e de j a u n e e t de v i o l e t p a r exemple (comme l e p l a f o n d d ' A p o l l o n , q u i j u s t e m e n t e s t j a u n e  e t v i o l e t , de D e l a c r o i x ) , o u i ou mon? C e r t e s , o u i . (503) V i n c e n t has h e r e d e s c r i b e d D e l a c r o i x ' s use o f c o l o u r i n t h e c a n v a s , 232 C h r i s t on t h e L a k e o f G e n n e s a r e t o f 1854, as a b l e t o s p e a k a s y m b o l i c l a n g u a g e by means o f c o l o u r a l o n e . To B e r n a r d i n l e t t e r B8, ( c . 1 J u l y , 1888), V i n c e n t c l a r i f i e s somewhat t h e e m o t i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e he g i v e s t o D e l a c r o i x ' s c o l o u r i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c a n v a s . Ah! l e b e a u t a b l e a u d'Eug. D e l a c r o i x : L a B a r q u e du C h r i s t s u r l a mer de G ^ n e s a r e t h . L u i a v e c son a u r e o l e d'un p a l e c i t r o n -dormant l u m i n e u x dans l a t a c h e de v i o l e t d r a m a t i q u e , de b l e u sombre, de r o u g e s a n g du g r o u p des d i s c i p l e s a h u r i s — s u r l a t e r r i -b l e mer d'6meraude montant, montant j u s q u e t o u t en h a u t du c a d r e . Ah, l a g e n i a l e e q u i s s e . (B8) V i n c e n t h e r e u n d e r l i n e s c o l o u r ' s a b i l i t y t o d r a m a t i z e s u b j e c t m a t t e r and t o h e i g h t e n t h e v i e w e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e e m o t i o n s i n v o l v e d i n t h e d e p i c t e d s c e n e . V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s t h e c l o a k s o f the d i s c i p l e s i n t h i s D e l a c r o i x canvas as somber blu e and b l o o d 70 r e d , seemingly t o i n d i c a t e t h a t by these c o l o u r s the d i s c i p l e s ' concern and f e a r i n the midst of the stormy lake i s b e t t e r conveyed. The c o n t r a s t of C h r i s t ' s y e l l o w h a l o a g a i n s t a v i o l e t background i s d e s c r i b e d as a d e l i b e r a t e d e v i c e t h a t emphasizes, by means of a complementary c o n t r a s t , the v i b r a n t f o c a l p o i n t : C h r i s t ' s d i v i n i t y . The emerald sea i s seen as t e r r i b l e as much by c o l o u r as i t s expanse. V i n c e n t ' s response to the v a s t green body o f water t h a t surrounds and e n g u l f s the boat and i t s occupants r e c o g n i z e s the a b i l i t y o f c o l o u r i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h c o m p o s i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e to heighten the impact o f the s u b j e c t t h a t the a r t i s t p r e s e n t s . I t i s w i t h i n the context of V i n c e n t ' s a d m i r a t i o n of what he sees as D e l a c r o i x ' s m a n i p u l a t i o n of c o l o u r to an e x p r e s s i v e end t h a t he argues i n l e t t e r 501, (c. 29 June, 1888), t h a t the motif of the sower must be p a i n t e d i n terms of c o l o u r . E t pourtant apres M i l l e t e t L h e r m i t t e , ce q u i r e s t e a f a i r e , c ' e s t — l e semeur avec de l a c o u l e u r e t en grand format. (501) V i n c e n t g r e a t l y admired the r u r a l and peasant s u b j e c t matter of 23 3 both M i l l e t and L h e r m i t t e . His comment, c i t e d above, acknow-ledges t h a t both a r t i s t s had e f f e c t i v e l y c r e a t e d images t h a t captured the c h a r a c t e r of l i f e and environment of r u r a l l a b o u r e r s . V i n c e n t ' s i n t e r e s t i n t r e a t i n g a s u b j e c t d e a l t w i t h by M i l l e t and L h e r m i t t e , but i n terms of c o l o u r , a l l u d e s t o the p a l e t t e s o f both a r t i s t s t h a t were based on predominantly brown and gray t o n a l harmonies. Rendering a sower i n colour—and V i n c e n t ' s f i g u r e i s i n f a c t almost d i r e c t l y d e r i v e d from M i l l e t ' s Sower of 71 1850 — i m p l i e s , a r e n d i t i o n o f t h i s m o t i f i n t e r m s o f t h e new l a n -guage o f c o l o u r t h a t V i n c e n t s e e s as r e f l e c t i v e o f t h e modern 235 k nowledge o f c o l o u r p r i n c i p l e s . However, i n l i g h t o f V i n c e n t ' s r e f e r e n c e s t o D e l a c r o i x ' s e x p r e s s i v e u s e o f c o l o u r t h a t a r e 2 36 c i t e d a b o v e , h i s e n t h u s i a s m f o r d e p i c t i n g t h e sower i n c o l o u r s u g g e s t s a l s o t h a t V i n c e n t f e l t t h a t c o l o u r c o u l d add a n o t h e r e x p r e s s i v e l e v e l t o t h i s a l r e a d y s i g n i f i c a n t image. I n f a c t , some months a f t e r The Sower, F.422, was c o m p l e t e d V i n c e n t r e f e r s t o t h i s c a n v a s , i n l e t t e r 533, (8 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , as t h e f i r s t a t t e m p t i n e f f e c t i n g , "une c o u l e u r a l o r s p a s l o c a l e m e n t v r a i e au p o i n t de vue r f e a l i s t e du trompe l ' o e i l , m a i s une c o u l e u r s u g g e s -s 237 t i v e d'une e m o t i o n q u e l c o n q u e d ' a r d e u r de temperament". I n a t t e m p t i n g t o d i s c e r n what V i n c e n t i n t e n d e d t o s u g g e s t o r c o n v e y by means o f c o l o u r i n The Sower, F.422, w h i c h as has b e e n a l r e a d y p o i n t e d o u t , e m p h a s i z e s a j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f t h e com-p l e m e n t a r y p a i r , v i o l e t and y e l l o w , two i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s p r e s e n t t h e m s e l v e s . I n l e t t e r B7, ( c . 28 J u n e , 1888), i n w h i c h V i n c e n t f i r s t d e s c r i b e s t h e y e l l o w and v i o l e t j u x t a p o s i t i o n s o f The Sower, F.422, as a d e p a r t u r e f r o m a t r u t h f u l n e s s t o l o c a l c o l o u r , he a d d s , F a i r e des images n a i v e s de v i e i l a l manack p l u t o t , de v i e i l a l m a nach de campagne ou l a g r e l e , l a n e i g e , l a p l u i e , l e b e a u temps, s o n t r e p r e s e n t e d d'une f a c o n t o u t a f a i t p r i m i t i v e a i n s i q u ' A n q u e t i n a v a i t s i b i e n t r o u v e s a M o i s s o n . J e ne t e c a c h e pas que j e ne d i t e s t e pas l a campagne y a y a n t e t e i l e v e — d e s b o u f f e e s de s o u v e n i r s d ' a u t r e f o i s , des a s p i r a t i o n s v e r s c e t i n f i n i d o n t l e semeur, l a g e r b e s o n t l e s s y m b o l e s m'enchant-ment e n c o r e , comme a u t r e f o i s . (B7) T h a t B e r n a r d and A n q u e t i n t h e m s e l v e s were d e l i b e r a t e l y d r a w i n g on 72 s i m p l i f i e d images o f t h e Images d ' E p i n a l , no d o u b t p l a y s a r o l e i n V i n c e n t ' s d i s c u s s i o n h e r e o f b o t h n a i v e i m a g e s , and t h e s y m b o l i c m o t i f o f t h e sower t h a t i m p l i e s t h e c y c l i c a l n a t u r e o f t h e s e a s o n s . I n l i g h t o f t h e s e r e f e r e n c e s , h o w e v e r , t h e c h o i c e o f a c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r w o u l d a p p e a r as an a p p r o p r i a t e way t o e x p r e s s t h e sower m o t i f . To V i n c e n t , c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r s a r e 239 b a s e d on i n v a r i a b l e c o l o u r l a w s , as w e l l as b a s i c t o c o l o u r 240 . • • r e l a t i o n s h i p s and t o c o l o u r p e r c e p t i o n . The j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f a c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r i n The Sower, F.422, may be s e e n as an a t t e m p t t o u s e a s i m p l e and b a s i c c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t w o u l d c o r r e s p o n d t o t h e n a i v e and p r i m i t i v e a s p e c t s o f t h e sower m o t i f . A s t u d y o f V i n c e n t ' s c o n c e r n w i t h c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s p o s e s a s e c o n d , and i t i s s u g g e s t e d h e r e , more s i g n i f i c a n t m a n i -p u l a t i o n o f c o l o u r i n t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n . I n l e t t e r B7, ( c . 28 J u n e , 1888), V i n c e n t p o i n t e d o u t t h a t i n The Sower, F.422, i t was i n t e n d e d t h a t , " l e p a n t a l o n b l a n c r e p o s e l ' o e i l e t l e d i s t r a i t au moment ou l e c o n t r a s t e s i m u l t a n e e x c e s s i f de j a u n e e t de v i o l e t 1 ' a g a g e r a i t " . 2 4 1 A l t h o u g h V i n c e n t had d e s c r i b e d t h e sower's t r o u s e r s as w h i t e i n t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n , i n t h e c o m p l e t e d v e r s i o n o f t h e c a n v a s , t h e c o l o u r i n g o f t h e sower i s a c t u a l l y b a s e d upon t h e y e l l o w - v i o l e t o p p o s i t i o n o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n as a w h o l e . The t r o u s e r s , s h i r t , and b o o t s o f t h e sower a r e v i o l e t , t h e f i g u r e ' s h a t and s e e d bag a r e a deep g o l d o r o c h r e , and h i s hands and f a c e a r e a deep o r a n g e . W h i l e t h e v i o l e t hue o f t h e t r o u s e r s may i n f a c t d e n o t e t h e e f f e c t o f t h e r e f l e c t e d hue o f t h e s u r r o u n d i n g f i e l d s on w h i t e c l o t h , o r t h e shadow e f f e c t c a l l e d 73 f o r t h by t h e y e l l o w s u n , t h e a l t e r a t i o n i n c o l o u r i n g s t i l l a l l o w s t h e sower t o s t a n d a t a c r u c i a l p o i n t i n t h e c o m p o s i t i o n . As e i t h e r a d i s t r a c t i o n and r e s t p l a c e d between t h e two c o m p l e m e n t a r y h u e s , o r as a d e l i b e r a t e r e f l e c t i o n o f t h e c o l o u r s u s e d i n t h e c o m p o s i t i o n , V i n c e n t has by a p a r t i c u l a r t y p e o f c o l o u r s y m b o l i s m , s t r e s s e d t h e i n e x t r i c a b l e t i e s t h a t b i n d t h i s f i g u r e t o h i s e n -v i r o n m e n t . Two e s s e n t i a l f a c t o r s o f t h e sower's e n v i r o n m e n t , t h e e a r t h w h i c h he t i l l s , sows, and r e a p s , and t h e s k y , t h e s o u r c e o f t h e w e a t h e r o f e a c h s e a s o n , a r e r e n d e r e d by V i n c e n t i n t e r m s o f a c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r , w h i c h b y d e f i n i t i o n , m u t u a l l y i n t e r a c t and 242 i n t e n s i f y one a n o t h e r . A t t h e p o i n t o f t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s t a n d s t h e sower. W h i l e V i n c e n t had i n i t i a l l y p l a n n e d t o have t h e w h i t e o f t h e sower's t r o u s e r s r e s t a n d d i s t r a c t t h e e y e , f r o m t h e 243 i n t e r a c t i o n o f t h e two c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s , h i s d e p i c t i o n o f t h e sower i n t e r m s o f t h e v i o l e t and g o l d o f t h e r e s t o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n , u n d e r l i n e s t h e c o n c e p t t h a t t h i s f i g u r e i s m oulded and g o v e r n e d by t h e i n t e r a c t i o n o f t h e e l e m e n t s o f h i s e n v i r o n m e n t . T h a t t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f V i n c e n t ' s m a n i p u l a t i o n o f t h e law o f s i m u l t a n e o u s c o n t r a s t i s c l o s e t o V i n c e n t ' s own a p p r o a c h , b o t h t o p e a s a n t s u b j e c t s , and t o t h e c o l o u r l a w s , may be shown by a b r i e f a n a l y s i s o f two comments made by V i n c e n t some weeks f o l l o w i n g t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f t h i s c a n v a s . In l e t t e r 520, (11 A u g u s t , 1888), w h i l e r e f e r r i n g t o a r e c e n t l y c o m p l e t e d p o r t r a i t o f a p e a s a n t s u b j e c t , P o r t r a i t o f  P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F.444', V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t he has e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r e l e m e n t s i n h i s d e p i c t i o n o f t h e p e a s a n t b e c a u s e , 74 ...nous avons l u l a T e r r e e t G e r m i n a l , e t s i nous p e i g n o n s un p a y s a n , nous a i m e r o n s m o n t r e r que c e t t e l e c t u r e a un p e u f i n i p a r f a i r e c o r p s a v e c n o u s . (520) 244 V i n c e n t r e a d E m i l e Z o l a s G e r m i n a l i n t h e s p r i n g o f 1885 w h i l e 245 he was i n Nuenen, j u s t f o l l o w i n g h i s c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e P o t a t o E a t e r s , F. 82; h i s c o n t a c t w i t h Z o l a ' s n o v e l L a T e r r e , may be d a t e d 246 t o as e a r l y a s 1887, when t h e n o v e l was f i r s t p u b l i s h e d . B o t h n o v e l s f o c u s on t h e e f f e c t o f e n v i r o n m e n t on t h e i n d i v i d u a l . G e r m i n a l ' s s u b j e c t i s t h e p l i g h t o f s t a r v i n g c o a l m i n e r s , and L a  T e r r e i s s e t i n t h e s o u t h o f F r a n c e and t r e a t s t h e p e a s a n t w o r k e r s o f t h e s o i l whose l i v e s , Z o l a s t r e s s e s , a r e d i c t a t e d and d e p e n d a n t on t h e c y c l i c a l n a t u r e o f t h e s e a s o n s . To u n d e r l i n e t h i s i n t e r -d e p e n d a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p Z o l a opens h i s n o v e l w i t h t h e image o f t h e sower r y t h m i c a l l y s t r i d i n g a c r o s s h i s f i e l d s c a s t i n g o u t h a n d f u l s 247 o f s e e d . V i n c e n t ' s a t t r a c t i o n t o Z o l a ' s d e p i c t i o n o f t h e p e a s a n t s t a t e d i n l e t t e r 520, (11 A u g u s t , 1 8 8 8 ) , t h e n w o u l d make th e e x a g g e r a t i o n o f e n v i r o n m e n t i n The Sower, F.422, t o s t r e s s i t s e f f e c t on t h e p e a s a n t , a n a t u r a l e m p h a s i s . T h a t V i n c e n t w o u l d be i n c l i n e d t o m a n i p u l a t e c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s , s p e c i f i c a l l y t h e law o f s i m u l t a n e o u s c o n t r a s t t h a t g o v e r n s t h e j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s , i n a way t h a t w o u l d a s s e r t t h e c o n c e p t o f t h e sower as e f f e c t e d by h i s e n v i r o n -ment, i s s u p p o r t e d by a r e f e r e n c e made i n l e t t e r 531, (3 September, 1888), where V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s a m a j o r c o n c e r n t h a t u n d e r l i e s h i s s t u d y o f c o l o u r . He w r i t e s o f t h e s t u d y o f c o l o u r J ' a i t o u j o u r s l ' e s p o i r de t r o u v e r q u e l q u e c h o s e l a - d e d a n s . 75 Exprimer 1'amour de deux amoureux par un mariage de deux complementaires, l e u r melanges et l e u r s o p p o s i t i o n s , l e s v i b r a t i o n s m y s t e r i -euses des tons rapproches. Exprimer l a pensee d'un f r o n t par l e rayonnant d'un ton c l a i r sur un fond sombre. ...Ce n'est c e r t e s pas l a du trompe-1'oeil r e a l i s t e , mais n'est-ce pas une chose re e l l e m e n t e x i s t a n t e ? (531) As t h i s passage i n d i c a t e s , V i n c e n t conceives of complementary 248 c o n t r a s t s and harmonies, as a b l e t o assume an e x p r e s s i v e r o l e . While t h i s l e t t e r was w r i t t e n d u r i n g the p e r i o d i n which V i n c e n t was i n v o l v e d with the d e c o r a t i o n o f canvases f o r the Yellow House, h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of The Sower, F.422, as the canvas t h a t f i r s t attempts to e x p l o r e /'une c o u l e u r a l o r s pas localement v r a i e au p o i n t de vue r e a l i s t e du trompe-1'oeil, mais une c o u l e u r s u g g e s t i v e d'une emotion quelconque d'ardeur de temperament", i n l e t t e r 533, (8 September, 1888), w r i t t e n o n l y a few days a f t e r the passage quoted above, suggests t h a t a s i m i l a r theory was a t work when The Sower, F.422, was f i r s t p a i n t e d . The Zouave F ., 423 . V i n c e n t ' s p o r t r a i t of a Bugler of the Zouave Regiment, F.423, i s f i r s t d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 501, (c. 29 June, 1888), at the same time as The Sower, F.422. The s u b j e c t , a young Zouave with s h o r t cropped h a i r and t r i m moustache i s d e p i c t e d h a l f l e n g t h i n a dark b l u e j a c k e t decorated w i t h g o l d b r a i d , b l u e cumberbund, and red cap s e t at an angle on h i s head. V i n c e n t d e p i c t s h i s uniformed s u b j e c t a g a i n s t a background o f a b r i g h t green door and a w a l l of orange b r i c k s . In V i n c e n t ' s f i r s t d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s s u b j e c t , i n l e t t e r 501, (c. 29 June, 1888), he d e s c r i b e s the 76 Zouave i n a n i m a l - l i k e terms. . . . c ' e s t un garcon a p e t i t f i g u r e , a cou de t a r e a u , a I ' o e i l de t i g r e . . . . (501) T h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i s repeated i n the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the c o l o u r s of the p o r t r a i t , . . . l e buste que j ' a i p e i n t de l u i e t a i t h o r r i b l e m e n t dur, en uniforme du b l e u des c a s s e r o l e s email-lees b l e u e s , a passementerie d'un rouge orange fane, avec deux e t o i l e s sur l a p o i t r i n e , un b l e u commun e t b i e n dur a f a i r e . La t e t e f e l i n e tree's bronzee c o i f fee d'un b-onnet garance j e l ' a i plaquee contre une / p o r t e p e i n t e en v e r t e t l e s b r i q u e s orangees d'un mur. C'est done une combinaison b r u t a l e des tons d i s p a r a t e s , pas commode a mener. L'etude que j'en a i f a b r i q u e e me p a r a l t t r e s dure, e t pourtant j e voud r a i s t o u j o u r s t r a v a i l l e r a des p o r t r a i t s v u l g a i r e s e t m£mes c r i a r d s comme c e l a . (501) T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Zouave i n terms o f b u l l , t i g e r , or c a t image, i s a l s o repeated i n the d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s canvas to Wil i n l e t t e r W5, (1 or 3 August, 1888). A l s o a p o r t r a i t bust o f a Zouave, i n a blu e uniform w i t h r e d and ye l l o w trimmings, w i t h a sky blue sash, a bl o o d - r e d cap with a t a s s e l , the face sunburned—black h a i r cropped short—eyes l e e r i n g l i k e a c a t s -orange and green—a s m a l l head on a b u l l ' s neck. (W5) I t would appear, then, t h a t the c o l o u r i n t h i s canvas d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 501, (c. 29 June, 1888), as ,"une combinaison b r u t a l e des tons d i s p a r a t r e s " , and c h a r a c t e r i z e d f u r t h e r as harsh, v u l g a r , and loud, ("le b u s t e . . . e t a i t h o r r i b l e m e n t dur...; . . . j e v o u d r a i s t o u j o u r s t r a v a i l l e r a des p o r t r a i t s v u l g a i r e s e t memes c r i a r d s comme c e l a " . ) , and as ugly i n l e t t e r B8, (c. 1 J u l y , 1888), 77 ("C'est d u r e t e n f i n l a i d . . . " . ) , i s i n t e n d e d t o c o r r e s p o n d t o o r c o n v e y t h e h a r s h , s a v a g e , and a n i m a l - l i k e q u a l i t y t h a t V i n c e n t a s s o c i a t e s w i t h t h e c h a r a c t e r o f h i s s u b j e c t . I n l i g h t o f t h e above c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , t h e way i n w h i c h c o l o u r a r e a s i n t h i s c a n v a s have been j u x t a p o s e d s h o u l d be n o t e d . W h i l e V i n c e n t does n o t seem t o f i n d b l u e / o r a n g e o r y e l l o w / v i o l e t 249 c o n t r a s t s a s u n p l e a s a n t , V i n c e n t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s o f T h e . Z o u a v e , F.423, o u t l i n e d a b o v e , i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e r e d / g r e e n and o r a n g e j u x t a p o s i t i o n i n t h i s c a n v a s i s c o n s i d e r e d a s h a r s h , v u l g a r , l o u d , and u g l y . W h i l e V i n c e n t ' s r e a c t i o n s t o t h e s e c o l o u r s may be e n t i r e l y p e r s o n a l , i t i s w o r t h o b s e r v i n g t h a t i t was n o t uncommon t o c o n s i d e r r e d / g r e e n c o m p l e m e n t a r y c o n t r a s t s as t h e h a r s h e s t o f com p l e m e n t a r y p a i r j u x t a p o s i t i o n s . Rood, i n h i s c h a p t e r on c o l o u r c o m b i n a t i o n s i n h i s Modern C h r o m a t i c s , a book w e l l known t o t h e 250 n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s t a r t i s t s i n P a r i s , u s e s t h e t e r m " h a r s h " t o 251 d e s c r i b e r e d / g r e e n - b l u e and p u r p l e / g r e e n c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r s , and o b s e r v e d t h a t t h e s e c o n t r a s t s were t h e l e a s t f r e q u e n t l y u s e d 25 2 i n a r t . Rood a t t r i b u t e d t h i s h a r s h n e s s t o two f a c t o r s . F i r s t , b o t h t h e s e c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r s c o i n c i d e w i t h t h e d e m a r c a t i o n l i n e t h a t d i v i d e s t h e hue c i r c l e i n t o two h a l v e s o f warm and c o l d a r e a s w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t t h e s e p a i r s a r e s u b j e c t e d t o s i m u l t a n -eous c o n t r a s t , a s c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s , and as w e l l a c o n t r a s t e f f e c t e d by t h e i r e x t r e m e p o s i t i o n s i n t e r m s o f w a r m - c o l d d i v i s i o n . Rood a l s o o b s e r v e s t h a t an e m e r a l d g r e e n o r b l u e - g r e e n c o l o u r e x c i t e s i n most p e r s o n s a f e e l i n g o f d i s g u s t and c a u s e s a work o t h e r w i s e 253 good t o a p p e a r c o l d and h a r d . Rood a l s o s t a t e s t h a t i n c o n -j u n c t i o n w i t h o t h e r h u e s , e m e r a l d o r b l u e - g r e e n s p r o d u c e , " a h a r s h 78 e f f e c t , i f t h e g r e e n i s a t a l l d e c i d e d o r c o v e r s much s p a c e " . £"J'* Rood's o b s e r v a t i o n s c e r t a i n l y c o i n c i d e w i t h V i n c e n t ' s r e s p o n s e t o t h e p o r t r a i t o f The Zouave, F.423, and as w e l l t o D e l a c r o i x ' s u s e 255 o f e m e r a l d g r e e n i n the..canvas„Christ on t h e L a k e o f G e n n e s a r e t . T h a t o r a n g e i s j u x t a p o s e d w i t h t h e r e d / g r e e n c o n t r a s t i n t h i s c a n v a s , a l s o a p p e a r s t o a f f e c t V i n c e n t ' s r e a c t i o n t o t h e p o r t r a i t o f t h e Zouave. He r e f e r s i n l e t t e r 501, ( c . 29 J u n e , 1888), t o r"une c o m b i n a i s o n b r u t a l e des t o n s d i s p a r a t e s , pas commode a mener". I n terms o f t h e c o l o u r s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p o r t r a i t o f The Zouave, F.423, t h e a r e a o f o r a n g e b r i c k i n t h e c o m p o s i t i o n i s e m p h a s i z e d as much as t h e j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f t h e Z o u a v e ' s r e d c a p a g a i n s t t h e g r e e n d o o r b e h i n d . E v e n w i t h o u t t h e knowledge o f t h e 256 c a r e f u l b a l a n c e o f y e l l o w and v i o l e t i n The Sower, F.422, o r V i n c e n t ' s r e f e r e n c e t o t h e m e n t a l l a b o u r o f b a l a n c i n g t h e s i x 257 p r i m a r y and s e c o n d a r y c o l o u r s i n l e t t e r 507, ( c . 7 J u l y , 1 8 8 8 ) , t h e j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f o r a n g e , r e d , and g r e e n i n The Zouave, F.42 3, 258 seems u n b a l a n c e d . A c o m p a r i s o n w i t h a s e l f p o r t r a i t p a i n t e d i n J a n u a r y , 1889, t h e S e l f P o r t r a i t w i t h a Bandaged E a r , F.529, w h i c h u t i l i z e s t h e same r e d , g r e e n , o r a n g e , and b l u e c o l o u r a r e a s t h a t a p p e a r i n t h e p o r t r a i t o f t h e Zouave, y e t w i t h i n an o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e t h a t e m p h a s i z e s b a l a n c e , s t a b i l i t y , and c a l m , p o i n t s up t h e n a t u r e o f t h e l a c k o f c o l o u r b a l a n c e i n The Zouave, F.423. I n t h e S e l f P o r t r a i t w i t h a Bandaged E a r , F.529, t h e b a c k g r o u n d o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n i s d i v i d e d h o r i z o n t a l l y i n h a l f ; t h e l o w e r h a l f i s a f l a t r e d , and t h e u p p e r h a l f , a f l a t o r a n g e . A g a i n s t t h i s b a c k g r o u n d V i n c e n t h a s d e p i c t e d h i m s e l f i n a g r e e n j a c k e t and b l u e c a p . The g r e e n j a c k e t i s t h u s s e t a g a i n s t t h e r e d h a l f o f t h e 79 b a c k g r o u n d and t h e b l u e cap a g a i n s t t h e o r a n g e h a l f . I t a p p e a r s t h a t t h i s c a r e f u l b a l a n c e was i n t e n d e d t o e f f e c t a c e r t a i n s u b -j e c t i v e r e s p o n s e . A t t h e t i m e when t h e S e l f P o r t r a i t w i t h 259 Bandaged E a r , F.529, was p a i n t e d , V i n c e n t had j u s t p a s s e d t h r o u g h t h e c r i s i s w i t h G a u g u i n i n w h i c h he had s l i c e d h i s own 26 0 e a r , and was r e c o v e r i n g i n t h e h o s p i t a l at. A r i e s . I n t h i s c o n t e x t t h e c a r e f u l b a l a n c e o f c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r s , e m p h a s i z e d by t h e h o r i z o n t a l d i v i s i o n o f t h e c a n v a s i n t o two e q u a l h a l v e s , seems a d e l i b e r a t e a t t e m p t on V i n c e n t ' s p a r t t o d e p i c t h i m s e l f i n t e r m s o f t h e b a l a n c e and e q u i l i b r i u m t h a t he was so much s e e k i n g t o r e g a i n a t t h i s t i m e . I n d e e d , as i f t o a n c h o r h i m s e l f f i r m l y t o t h i s c o l o u r s t r u c t u r e t h a t s u g g e s t s e q u i l i b r i u m , V i n c e n t has s t r u c t u r e d t h i s s e l f p o r t r a i t so t h a t t h e b o r d e r t h a t d i v i d e s t h e r e d and o r a n g e h a l v e s o f t h e c a n v a s b a c k g r o u n d , a l s o p r o v i d e s t h e c o m p o s i t i o n a l l i n e a l o n g w h i c h V i n c e n t ' s e y e s a r e a l i g n e d . O t h e r n o n - c o l o u r f e a t u r e s o f t h i s p o r t r a i t r e i n f o r c e t h i s d e l i b e r a t e f o c u s on c a l m and t r a n q u i l i t y . The b a n d a ged e a r , t h e o u t w a r d m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f V i n c e n t ' s r e c e n t t u r m o i l i s t u r n e d t o w a r d t h e v i e w e r ; smoke f r o m t h e p i p e h e l d i n V i n c e n t ' s mouth r i s e s s l o w l y i n an u n d i s t u r b e d v e r t i c a l l i n e , and V i n c e n t ' s e y e s have a c a l m , e v e n p a s s i v e and s a d l o o k . The d e l i b e r a t e b a l a n c e o f r e d / g r e e n and b l u e / o r a n g e i n t h e S e l f P o r t r a i t w i t h Bandaged E a r , F. 529, e m p h a s i z e s t h e l a c k o f c o m plementary c o l o u r b a l a n c e i n t h e p o r t r a i t o f The Zouave, F.42 3. As a l r e a d y p o i n t e d o u t , V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s t h e c o l o u r s t r u c t u r e i n 261 t h i s work a s , "une c o m b i n a i s o n b r u t a l e des t o n d i s p a r a t r e s " . P o r t r a i t s c r e a t e d by s u c h c o l o u r s a r e d e s c r i b e d as " v u l g a i r e s e t . . . 80 c r i a r d s " . The young Zouave, who i s the s u b j e c t of the p o r t r a i t , i s h i m s e l f c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n b r u t a l terms. He has a b u l l ' s neck, 263 a f e l i n e head, and the l e e r i n g eyes o f a t i g e r or c a t . The " b r u t a l e " c o l o u r combination t h a t i s used to d e p i c t t h i s s i t t e r thus corresponds to V i n c e n t ' s response to h i s s u b j e c t . By e x t e n s i o n , t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c o l o u r s t r u c t u r e seems intended to e l l i c i t a s i m i l a r response from the viewer. The Bridge a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e r f F.426 In l e t t e r 503, (c. 6 J u l y , 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s The  Bridge a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F.426, a canvas t h a t a l s o p o i n t s to a concern with s u g g e s t i v e or e x p r e s s i v e c o l o u r . The h i g h h o r i z o n and an e l e v a t e d viewpoint i n t h i s canvas g i v e an overview of the Rhone R i v e r , i n the r i g h t h a l f of the composition, and a c o n c r e t e walkway t h a t runs a l o n g s i d e the r i v e r on the l e f t . The T r i n q u e -t a i l l e B ridge c r o s s e s above the r i v e r and the walkway i n the back-ground. S e v e r a l f i g u r e s l e a n a g a i n s t or s i t upon the concrete w a l l of the walkway and gaze i n t o the r i v e r . On the walkway i t s e l f , one male f i g u r e s t r i d e s away from the viewer and a f a c e -l e s s female walks toward the viewer. F i g u r e s stand on the quay beside t h i s walkway and look i n t o the r i v e r upon which two boats s a i l . The i r o n b r i d g e i t s e l f , i s supported on l a r g e round b r i c k pylons and the metal s u p e r s t r u c t u r e , upon which p e d e s t r i a n s and v e h i c l e s c r o s s the Rhone, i s s i l h o u e t t e d a g a i n s t the sky. U n l i k e The Sower, F.422, which i s d e s c r i b e d i n s e v e r a l of 264 V i n c e n t ' s l e t t e r s , t h i s canvas i s r e f e r r e d to o n l y b r i e f l y i n l e t t e r s 503, (c. 6 J u l y , 1888), and 524, (14 or 15 August, 1888). 81 In both l e t t e r s , Vincent describes the colours i n t h i s canvas. J ' a i une vue du Rh8ne—le pont de fer de T r i n q u e t a i l l e , ou l e c e i l et le fleuve sont couleur d'absinthe, les quais d'un ton l i l a s , les personnages accoudes sur le parapet noi-r a t r e s , l e pont de fer d'un bleu intense, avec dans le fond bleu une note orange vive et une note vert V e r o n e s e intense. Encore un essai bien inacheve, mais enfin ou je cherche quelque chose de plus navre, et de plus navrant par consequent. (503) II y a une vue du Rhone ou l e c i e l et 1'eau sont d'une couleur d'absinthe, avec un pont bleu et des figures de voyous noires. (524) -The description t.o Theo occurs- i n the same l e t t e r whi'ch describes Delacroix's colour as able to speak,"un langage -symbolique par 26 5 l a couleur meme". Within t h i s context, i t seems l i k e l y that the colour combinations i n The Bridge at T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F.426, are to achieve the heartbreaking q u a l i t y , "quelque chose de plus navre, et de plus navrant par consequent", that Vincent describes i n l e t t e r 503, (c. 6 July, 1888), as part of his subject. Because Vincent makes only two b r i e f references to t h i s work, i t i s d i f f i -c u l t to construct a f u l l and convincing interpretation of what role colour i s intended to play i n t h i s canvas. Nevertheless, an interpretation may s t i l l be posed. Vincent describes the sky and r i v e r i n The Bridge at T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F.426, as absinthe i n colour, and the quays as l i l a c . As has been noted i n the discussion of the p o r t r a i t of The Zouave, F.423, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r combination was 26 6 considered by Rood, at l e a s t , to be harsh and unpleasant. A similar response to such colours on Vincent's part might possibly underly his use of absinthe and l i l a c i n two major colour areas of 82 The B r i d g e a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F.426, these c o l o u r s then conveying the heartbroken and h e a r t b r e a k i n g c h a r a c t e r o f the s u b j e c t . However, the c o l o u r s t r u c t u r e o f t h i s composition.must a l s o be noted. L i k e D e l a c r o i x ' s C h r i s t on the Lake of Gennesaret, which V i n c e n t found t e r r i b l e because of the v a s t expanse o f green sea which dominated the human f i g u r e s , The Brid g e a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F. 426, s i m i l a r l y emphasizes the sky and r i v e r o f a b s i n t h e . A g a i n s t t h i s backdrop, the f i g u r e s on the walkway and quay, d e s c r i b e d as l o a f e r s or u r c h i n s i n l e t t e r 524, (14 o r 15 August, 1888), appear as dark, i s o l a t e d s i l h o u e t t e s . S i m i l a r l y s i l h o u -e t t e d a g a i n s t the a b s i n t h e o f the sky and r i v e r , are the horse and c a r t , a n d p e d e s t r i a n s t h a t c r o s s the Rhone on the i r o n b r i d g e . Emphasis i n the canvas, then, i s g i v e n to the cement and i r o n o f the w a t e r f r o n t . The u r c h i n s , "des f i g u r e s de voyous", t h a t lounge on the cement walk and s t a r e i n t o the r i v e r emphasize i s o l a t i o n . The anonymous s i l h o u e t t e d q u a l i t y o f t h e i r forms s e t a g a i n s t the harsh c o l o u r s o f the r i v e r , seem i n t e n d e d t o u n d e r l i n e the q u a l i t y o f "quelque chose de p l u s navre e t de p l u s navrant 267 par consequent", t h a t V i n c e n t sought t o e x p r e s s . P o r t r a i t o f P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F. 44.3. V i n c e n t a g a i n r e f e r s t o e x p r e s s i v e c o l o u r i n d i s c u s s i n g >268 the P o r t r a i t o f P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F.443 i n l e t t e r s B15, (c. 18 August, 1888), and 520, (11 August, 1888). The p o r t r a i t i s a bust o f a bearded peasant i n j a c k e t , s c a r f , and brimmed h a t . The backgound a g a i n s t '.whitch the peasant i s s e t 83 i s an in t e n s e blue t h a t c o n t r a s t s w i t h both the peasant's y e l l o w hat, i t s contours o u t l i n e d i n red to s e t i t o f f from the blue background, and the yel l o w and orange t h a t i n d i c a t e the l i n e s of the peasants f a c e . In both l e t t e r B15, (c. 18 August, 1888), and l e t t e r 520, (11 August, 1888), V i n c e n t r e l a t e s h i s p o r t r a i t o f P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r t o both the peasant s u b j e c t matter of the Nuenen p e r i o d and to h i s concern w i t h c o l o u r d u r i n g the same time. To Bernard, V i n c e n t w r i t e s , Ah I j ' a i t o u t de meme une n o u v e l l e f i g u r e q u i e s t absolument une c o n t u a t i o n de c e r t -a i n e s etudes de t e t e s f a i t e s en H o l l a n d e . Je t e l e s a i un j o u r montrees avec un tab -l e a u de ce temps-la: Les mangeurs de pommes  de t e r r e , j e v o u d r a i s t e l a montrer. C ' e s t t o u j o u r s une etude ou l a c o u l e u r joue un t e l r o l e que l e b l a n c e t n o i r du d e s s i n ne s a u r a i t l e ren d r e . Car encore une f o i s , l a c o u l e u r e s t s u g g e s t i v e de l ' a i r embrase de l a moisson du p l e i n m i d i , en p l e i n c a n i c u l e , e t sans, c e l a c ' e s t un a u t r e t a b l e a u . (B15) In d e s c r i b i n g t h i s P o r t r a i t o f P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F.443/ t o Theo, i n l e t t e r 520, (11 August, 1888), V i n c e n t a g a i n l i k e n s i t to the Potato E a t e r s , F.82. In do i n g so V i n c e n t i m p l i e s t h a t the d e a l e r , P o r t i e r , who had c r i t i c i z e d t h i s canvas i n 1885 because o f i t s dark tone and the exaggerated anatomy and e x p r e s s i o n s o f the 269 f i g u r e s , would s i m i l a r l y c r i t i c i z e the d e p i c t i o n o f P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r f o r i t s concern w i t h exaggerated e f f e c t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the realm o f c o l o u r . La c o u l e u r de. ce p o r t r a i t de paysan moins n o i r e que l e s mangeurs de pomme t e r r e de Nuenen—mais l e t r e s c i v i l i s e e s t de 84 P a r i s i e n P o r t i e r , probablement a i n s i nomme parce q u ' i l f o u t l e s tableaux a l a p o r t e , s'y r e t r o u v e r a l e aez devant l a meme ques-t i o n . Maintenant t o i depuis as ^change, mais tu v e r r a que l u i m'a pas change, e t v r a i -ment, c ' e s t dommage q u ' i l n'y a i t pas davantage de tableaux en. sabots a P a r i s . (520) While V i n c e n t ' s p a l e t t e has changed r a d i c a l l y s i n c e t h a t p e r i o d , h i s concern w i t h d e p i c t i n g the c h a r a c t e r o f the peasant's e x i s t e n c e 0 70 s t i l l c o n t i n u e s . In l e t t e r 520, (11 August, 1888), he w r i t e s to Theo, ...nous avons l u La T e r r e e t Germinal, e t s i nous peignons un paysan, nous aimerorxs montrer que c e t t e l e c t u r e a un peu f i n i par f a i r e corps avec nous. (520) T h i s r e f e r e n c e t o Zola whose focus i s the e f f e c t o f environment on the i n d i v i d u a l , has a l r e a d y been d i s c u s s e d i n the. r e l a t i o n to 271 The Sower, F.422, and serves t o u n d e r l i n e V i n c e n t ' s concern w i t h p l a c i n g h i s s u b j e c t i n i t s proper c o n t e x t . In a long passage i n t h i s same l e t t e r , V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s how exaggeration o f c o l o u r e f f e c t s are e s s e n t i a l t o e x p r e s s i n g t h i s v i s i o n . At the same time he re-emphasizes t h a t such exaggeration, which i s intended to be e x p r e s s i v e , has i t s r o o t s i n h i s concern w i t h e x p r e s s i v e form and c o l o u r a t Nuenen, when he had been f i r s t i n t r o d u c e d to the a r t o f 2 7 2 D e l a c r o i x . Thus V i n c e n t f o l l o w s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s canvas of P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r as having, " l a q u a l i t e e j n s o l e i l l e e e t b r u l e e , halee du grand s o l e i l e t du grand a i r " , by e x p l a i n i n g , I l y a seulement que j e trouve que ce que j ' a i a p p r i s a P a r i s s'en va, e t que j e r e v i -ens a mes id e ^ s q u i m'etaient venues a l a campagne, avant de c o n n a l t r e l e s i m p r e s s i o n -i s t e s . E t je s e r a i s peu etonne, s i sous peu 85 l e s i m p r e s s i o n i s t e s t r o u v e r a i e n t a r e d i r e sur ma facon de f a i r e , q u i a p l u t o t ete fecondee par l e s idees de D e l a c r o i x , que par l e s l e u r s . Car au l i e u de chercher a rendre exacte-ment ce j ' a i devant l e s yeux, j e me se r s de l a c o u l e u r p l u s a r b i t r a i r e m e n t pour m'exprimer fortement. E n f i n , l a i s s o n s c e l a t r a n q u i l l e en t a n t que t h e o r i e , mais j e v a i s t e donner un ex-emple de ce que j e veux d i r e . Je voudrais f a i r e l e p o r t r a i t d'un ami a r t i s t e , q u i reve des grands r e v e s , q u i t r a v a i l l e comme l e r o s s i g n o l chante, parce que c ' e s t a i n s i sa nature. Cet homme se r a blond. Je vo u d r a i s mettre dans l e t a b l e a u mon a p p r e c i a t i o n , mon amour que j ' a i pour l u i . Je l e p e i n d r a i done t e l q u e l , a u s s i f i d -element que j e p o u r r a i , pour commencer. Mais l e t a b l e a u n'est pas f i n i a i n s i . Pour l e f i n i r j e v a i s maintenant e t r e c o l o r i s t e a r b i t r a i r e . J'exagere l e blond de l a c h e v e l u r e , j ' a r r i v e aux tons oranges, aux chromes, au c i t r o n p a l e . D e r r i e r e l a t e t e , au l i e u de peindre l e mur b a n a l du mesquin appartement, j e peins l ' i n f i n i , j e f a i s un fond simple du b l e u l e p l u s r i c h e , l e p l u s i n t e n s e , que j e p u i s s e c o n f e c t i o n n e r , e t par c e t t e simple combinaison l a t e t e blonde e c l a i r e e sur ce fond b l e u r i c h e o b t i e n t un e f f e t mysterieuse comme l ' e t o i l e dans l ' a z u r profond. (520) While V i n c e n t does not p a i n t t h i s p o r t r a i t of h i s a r t i s t f r i e n d 273 . u n t i l e a r l y September, the d e s c r i p t i o n o f process i n t h i s passage i s c r u c i a l to the e v o l u t i o n of V i n c e n t ' s use of c o l o u r . Emphasized here i s t h a t V i n c e n t ' s c o l o u r i s not a r b i t r a r y , but r a t h e r , as i n the case o f the p r o j e c t e d p o r t r a i t o f the a r t i s t f r i e n d , determined by the s p e c i f i c s of V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n . Thus the background a g a i n s t which t h i s p o r t r a i t head i s t o be s e t i s d e s c r i b e d as a b s t r a c t e d from r e a l i t y i n order t o emphasize V i n c e n t ' s p a r t i c u l a r concept o f the a r t i s t ' s realm o r environment. As t h i s 86 background i s an i n t e n s e b l u e , the f e a t u r e s of the f a c e are c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y heightened to orange, so t h a t there may be a simultaneous c o n t r a s t between the s u b j e c t and environment, and the a r t i s t thus becomes " I ' e t o i l e dans l ' a z u r profonde". I t i s c l e a r from V i n c e n t ' s own d i s c u s s i o n h e r e , t h a t the e x a g g e r a t i o n of c o l o u r e f f e c t s must be p l a c e d w i t h i n an i n t e r -p r a t i v e c o n t e x t c o n s t r u c t e d from the a r t i s t ' s own a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h the s u b j e c t . At the end o f the passage quoted above, V i n c e n t r e l a t e s t h i s exaggerated and s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r to the P o r t r a i t  o f P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F.44 3, P a r e i l l e m e n t dans l e p o r t r a i t de paysan j ' a i procede de c e t t e f a c o n . T o u t e f o i s sans v o u l o i r dans ce cas evoquer 1 ' e c l a t m y s t e r i -eux d'une p a l e e t o i l e dans l ' i n f i n i . Mais en supposant 1'homme t e r r i b l e que j ' a v a i s a f a i r e en p l e i n e f o u r n a i s e de l a moisson, en p l e i n m i d i . De l a des oranges f u l g u r a n t s comme du f e r r o u g i , de l a des tons de v i e i l or lumineux dans l e s t e n e b r e s . Ah, mon cher f r e r e — e t l e s bonnes personnes ne v e r r o n t dans c e t t e e x a g e r a t i o n que de l a c a r i c a t u r e . Mais qu'est-ce c e l a nous f a i t , nous avons l u La T e r r e e t Germinal, e t s i nous peignons un paysan, nous aimerons montrer que c e t t e l e c t u r e a un peu f i n i par f a i r e corps avec nous. (520) As w i t h the t h e o r e t i c a l p o r t r a i t o f V i n c e n t ' s a r t i s t f r i e n d , then the head of P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r i s s e t a g a i n s t an a b s t r a c t background t h a t i s to be i n t h i s case, s u g g e s t i v e o f the heat and sun of the m i d i c o n t r y s i d e . Thus the i n t e n s e and impastoed blue'. t h a t c r e a t e s the background o f t h i s canvas r e p r e s e n t s the p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r o f the environment i n which P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r works. As i s i n d i c a t e d by the r e f e r e n c e to Z o l a ' s La T e r r e and Germinal, 87 t h i s background p l a y s a r o l e i n f o r m u l a t i n g the c h a r a c t e r o f 274 P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r h i m s e l f . The P o r t r a i t of P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F.443, then, l i k e The 2 75 Sower, F.422, The Zouave, F.423, and The B r i d g e a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F.426, r e v e a l s V i n c e n t ' s concern w i t h u s i n g exaggerated c o l o u r t o suggest important a s p e c t s of h i s s u b j e c t . In The Sower, F.422, c o l o u r i s exaggerated so t h a t two areas o f y e l l o w and v i o l e t , are a b l e t o suggest by means of an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the simultaneous c o n t r a s t of c o l o u r s , the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the sower's a c t i v i t y i n the c o n t e s t o f the c y c l e o f the seasons. In The Zouave, F.423, a balance of complementary c o l o u r s i s d e l i b e r a t e l y avoided and a savage and harsh e f f e c t appears i n t e n d e d to convey the a n i m a l - l i k e q u a l i t y o f the young s o l d i e r . . The B r i d g e a t T r i n q u e t a i l l e , F.426, makes use o f a s i m i l a r l y j a r r i n g complementary p a i r , l i l a c and green, to express what V i n c e n t sees as a h e a r t b r e a k i n g q u a l i t y i n the scene. In the P o r t r a i t of P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , F.443, c o l o u r , i n t h i s case the blue impastoed background, i s used to convey the c h a r a c t e r o f the P r o v e n c a l c l i m a t e and t o suggest the heat and sun under which the peasant works. As i n the canvases d i s c u s s e d above, c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s are more important to V i n c e n t ' s i d e a of e x p r e s s i v e c o l o u r than s i n g l e c o l o u r a r e a s . The y e l l o w hat and the orange and y e l l o w of the peasants face give the i -r ' t complementary to the blue of the background .This r e c a l l s • 1 f--V i n c e n t ' s comment t h a t the south c a l l s these two c o l o u r s 27 6 f o r t h r e p e a t e d l y . At the same time,as i n The Sower, 2 77 F.422, the simultaneous c o n t r a s t t h a t i n theory occurs between the two c o l o u r areas,seems intended to suggest the i n t e r a c t i o n between the peasant and h i s e n v i r o n m e n t . ^ ^ 3 PART TWO THE DECORATION CANVASES FOR THE YELLOW HOUSE 88 CHAPTER V .THE CONCEPT OF THE YELLOW HOUSE Before examining the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c o l o u r , and the canvases f o r the d e c o r a t i o n of the Yellow House, i t i s use-f u l here t o o u t l i n e the s i g n i f i c a n c e V i n c e n t gave to h i s r e -sidence i n A r i e s . When the Yellow House was f i r s t r ented, V i n c e n t expressed i n l e t t e r 480, (1 May, 1888), h i s hope t h a t he would now have a s t a b l e and f i x e d working environment which 2 7 8 would b e n e f i t h i s p a i n t i n g . V i n c e n t a l s o expressed, s h o r t l y a f t e r the house was rented t h a t he hoped t h a t a group of p a i n t e r s 279 might l i v e r together i n h i s rented accomodation. Thus, i n l e t t e r 493 (c .5 .'June,, 1888), V i n c e n t notes t h a t Bernard as w e l l 28 0 as Gauguin was t h i n k i n g of coming to the south of France. V i n c e n t adds t h a t such a s i t u a t i o n would b r i n g about h i s v i s i o n of an a s s o c i a t i o n o f i m p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t e r s w i t h Theo a t i t ' s head i n h i s c a p a c i t y as a d e a l e r . To e f f e c t the success of t h i s a s s o c i a t i o n , V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t he would be w i l l i n g t o look on the other a r t i s t s o f the group as g r e a t e r than h i m s e l f i n order to make the good of the a s s o c i a t i o n the g r e a t e s t p r i o r i t y . C'est d ' a i l l e u r s ma s p e c u l a t i o n de me combiner avec d'autres. V o i c i ce s e r a i t un commencement d'assoc-i a t i o n . Bernard q u i va a u s s i dans l e m i d i nous j o i n d r a , e t sache l e b i e n , j e te v o i s t o u j o u r s en France a l a t e t e d'une associa-'. t i o n d ' i m p r e s s i o n i s t e s . E t s i moi je p o u r r a i s 89 e\tre u t i l e p o u r l e s m e t t r e e n s e m b l e , v o l o n t i e r s j e l e s v e r r a i s t o u s p l u s f o r t s que m o i . (493) T h a t two o r t h r e e a r t i s t s c o u l d l i v e t o g e t h e r i n t h e Y e l l o w Houseuand s h a r e e x p e n s e s i s d i s c u s s e d a g a i n i n l e t t e r 500, (23 J u n e , 1 8 8 8 ) . The i d e a o f a r t i s t s w o r k i n g t o g e t h e r and s h a r i n g e x p e n s e s was an i m p o r t a n t one t o V i n c e n t . W h i l e he s e e s a r t i s t s w o r k i n g t o g e t h e r as a b l e t o b e n e f i t f r o m t h e dy-2 81 n a m i c s o f t h e i n t e r c h a n g e o f i d e a s , he a l s o i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e f i n a n c i a l s i d e © f . s u c h an a s s o c i a t i o n . I n l e t t e r 468,(10 March, 1888) he d i s u c s s e s t h e b e n e f i t s o f f o r m i n g an a s s o c i a t i o n o f i m p r e s s i o n i s t a r t i s t s , i n w h i c h p r o c e e d s f r o m t h e s a l e s o f p a i n t i n g s w o u l d be s h a r e d . A l l a r t i s t s w o u l d c o n t r i b u t e p a i n t -i n g s t o a v a l u e o f 10,000 f r a n c s , b u t t h o s e c o n t r i b u t e d by w e l l known a r t i s t s s u c h as Monet, S i s l e y R e n o i r , Degas, and C a m i l l e P i s s a r r o , w o u l d g u a r a n t e e an income t o l e s s e r known 2 82 a r t i s t s s u c h as S e u r a t , G u i l l a u m i n , and G a u g u i n . As has b e e n p o i n t e d o u t i n t h e I n t r o d u c t i o n V i n c e n t b e g i n s t o p a i n t a d e c o r a t i o n f o r t h e Y e l l o w House a t t h e same t i m e t h a t he i s ,given r e a s o n t o b e l i e v e t h a t G a u g u i n i s w i l l i n g t o 283 come t o A r i e s . Much o f h i s e n t h u s i a s m f o r t h i s d e c o r a t i o n p r o j e c t may be l i n k e d t o h i s b e l i e f t h a t t h e Y e l l o w House w i l l now become t h e b a s e f o r t h e a s s o c i a t i o n o f p a i n t e r s . w h i c h had b e en so f r e q u e n t l y d i s c u s s e d i n t h e p r e c e e d i n g m o n t h s . 2 8 4 I n d e e d i n t h e l e t t e r s o f September and O c t o b e r o f 1888, V i n c e n t r e p e a t e d l y s t r e s s e s t h a t n o t o n l y w i l l h i s s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s f o r t h e d e c o r a t i o n be a g r o u p t h a t he w o u l d be i n t e r e s t e d i n ex-2 85 h i b i t i n g i n 1889, b u t a l s o , t h a t t h e s e c a n v a s e s have a mon-e t a r y v a l u e w h i c h V i n c e n t s e t s a t 10,000 f r a n c s . T h e r e a r e 90 two r e a s o n s t h a t c a u s e V i n c e n t t o e m p h a s i z e t h e m o n e t a r y w o r t h o f t h e s e p a i n t i n g s . F i r s t , as he e x p l a i n s t o Theo i n l e t t e r 538, (18 September, 1888), V i n c e n t hopes by means o f h i s p a i n t i n g s , t o pay Theo b a c k b o t h f o r t h e money t h a t i s s e n t t o V i n c e n t 2 86 e v e r y month, and f o r t h e money Theo s e n t V i n c e n t t o pay f o r 28 7 t h e r e p a i n t i n g o f t h e Y e l l o w House. I t i s e x p l a i n e d t h a t t h e c a n v a s e s p a i n t e d f o r t h e d e c o r a t i o n o f t h e Y e l l o w House a r e s p e c i f i c a l l y i n t e n d e d t o pay Theo b a c k f o r t h e s e e x p e n d i t u r e s . A u s s i mon p l a n e s t - i l t o u t f a i t , j e c h e r c h e r a i a f a i r e de l a p e i n t u r e p o u r . . i. . , l a m a i s o n . C e l l e que j e f e r a i p o u r l a m a i s o n , ce s e r a p o u r t e r e m b o u r s e r l e s d e p e n s e s a n t e r i e u r e s . ^ . . .En-fin j e me s e n s a p e u p r e s s u r d' a r r i v e r f a i r e une d e c o r a t i o n , q u i v a u d r a 10,000 f r a n c s i c i e n t r e - t e m p s (538) 2 88 I t i s r e p e a t e d i n l e t t e r s 5 4 0 , ( c . 22 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , 548, (9 O c t o b e r , 1 8 8 8 ) , 2 8 9 and 551, (10 o r 11 O c t o b e r , 1 8 8 8 ) 2 9 0 t h a t t h e d e c o r a t i o n s must be w o r t h 10,000 f r a n c s i n o r d e r t o r e g a i n t h e money t h a t has b e e n s p e n t on V i n c e n t ' s a r t o v e r t h e y e a r s . The s e c o n d r e a s o n t h a t l e a d s V i n c e n t t o i n s i s t upon t h e 10,000 f r a n c v a l u e o f t h e d e c o r a t i o n c a n v a s e s i s bound up w i t h h i s v i s i o n o f an a s s o c a t i o n where a r t i s t s w o u l d c o n t r i b u t e works t o a g i v e n v a l u e . As G a u g u i n ' s i m p e n d i n g a r r i v a l marks t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h i s • a s s o c i a t i o n , V i n c e n t i s e a g e r t o p r o v i d e c a p i t a l t o s u p p o r t t h e i r s t u d i o , and so c o n t r i b u t e f i n a n c i a l l y t o t h e a s s o c i a t i o n . He t h u s w r i t e s i n l e t t e r 538, ( 18 September, 1888) , S i nous f o n d o n s i c i un a t e l i e r a s i l e p o u r l ' u n ou l ' a u t r e c o p a i n dans l a d e c h e , j a m a i s p e r s o n n e ne p o u r r a nous r e p r o c h e r n i a t o i n i a. moi de v i v r e e t de d e p e n s e r p o u r n o u s s e u l s . Or p o u r f o n d e r un t e l a t e l i e r , i l f a u t un f o n d s 91 de roulement, or c e l u i - l a c ' e s t moi que '.. I l ' a i mange dans mes annees d'improduction e t j e l e r e n d r a i maintenant que j e commence a p r o d u i r e . (538) The d e c o r a t i o n canvases, then, w i t h t h e i r value s e t a t 10,000 f r a n c s must be understood as V i n c e n t s ' c o n t r i b u t i o n t o h i s v i s i o n of an a s s o c i a t i o n o f a r t i s t s ' w h o would.-gaurahtee-each others support, thereby a s s u r i n g a p r o d u c t i v e working environment. 291 Such an a s s o c i a t i o n would a l s o g i v e refuge to a r t i s t s i n need. I t i s a l s o important t h a t V i n c e n t s ' d e t e r m i n a t i o n to found a s t u d i o i n the south was intended t o p r o v i d e f o r a r t i s t s of the f u t u r e as w e l l as of the pr e s e n t . V i n c e n t r e f e r s to t h i s v i s i o n i n l e t t e r 538, (18 September, 1888). The passage quoted im-mediately above i n which V i n c e n t s t r e s s e s t h a t the foundation of a s t u d i o and refuge i n the south w i l l prove t h a t he and Theo are not p r o v i d i n g only f o r t h e i r own l i v e l i h o o d , i s fo l l o w e d with the e x p l a n a t i o n , ' ' • i i Mais mon idee s e r a i t qu 'au bout du compte ) on eusse fonde e t l a i s s e r a i t a l a p o s t e r i t e un a t e l i e r oil p o u r r a i t v i v r e un successeur. Je ne s a i s pas s i j e m'exprime assez c l a i r e -ment, mais en d'autres termes nous t r a v a i l l o n s a un a r t , a des a f f a i r e s q u i r e s t e r o n t irion seulement de notre temps, mais q u i pourront encore apres nous, e t r e continuees par l e s a u t r e s . (538) Again i n l e t t e r 540,(c. 22 September, 1888) V i n c e n t r e f e r s t o the f u t u r e of the s t u d i o he hopes to' found i n the south, i n d i -c a t i n g t h a t i t i s t o t h i s end t h a t he hopes to p a i n t a d e c o r a t i o n t h a t w i l l be of some monetary v a l u e . 92 L a g r a n d t r a n q u i l l i t e que me p r o c u r e l a m a i s o n e s t s u r t o u t c e c i que, des m a i n t e n a n t j e me s e n s t r a v a i l l e r e n p r e n a n t d e s p r e c a u -t i o n s d ' a v e n i r , a p r e s moi un a u t r e p e i n t r e t r o u v e r a une a f f a i r e en t r a i n . I l me f a u d r a du temps, mais j ' a i l ' i d e e f i x e de f a i r e p o u r l a m a i s o n une d e c o r a t i o n , q u i v a u d r a 1 ' a r g e n t que j ' a i depense dans l e s annees dans l e s q u e l l e s j e n ' a i p a s p r o d u i t . (540) V i n c e n t ' s f e e l i n g t h a t he i s p r e p a r i n g t h e way f o r some f u t u r e a r t i s t had been a l l u d e d t o e a r l i e r i n 1888. I n l e t t e r 489, ( c . 19 May, 1888), he d e s c r i b e s h i m s e l f as a l i n k i n a c h a i n o f a r t i s t s p r e p a r i n g f o r t h e a r t o f t h e f u t u r e . ...nous s e n t o n s l a r e a l i t e de c e que nous sommes p e u de c h a s e , e t que p o u r e t r e un anneau dans l a c h a i n e des a r t -i s t e s , nous p a y o n s l a j p r i x r a i d e de s a n t e , de j e u n e s s e de l i b e r t e . . . . . . . C e t t e E s p e r a n c e de P u v i s : g[e Chavannes e s t une t e l l e r e a l i t e . I I y a dans l ' a v e n i r un a r t , e t i l d o i t e t r e s i beau, e t s i j e u n e , que v r a i s i a c t u e l l e m e n t nous y l a i s s o n s n o t r e j e u n e s s e a nous , nous ne pouvons qu'y g a g n e r en s e r e n i t e . (489) V i n c e n t c o n s i d e r s t h e a r t o f t h e f u t u r e as b a s e d on c o l o u r . I n l e t t e r 482,(3 o r 4 May, 1888), V i n c e n t o b s e r v e s t h e r e does n o t y e t e x i s t a f i g u r e p a i n t e r who works i n c o l o u r a l o n e , •••• so p a r a l l e l Monet's a c h i e v e m e n t i n l a n d s c a p e . He adds and u n d e r l i n e s , "Mais l e p e i n t r e de l ' a v e n i r c ' e s t un c o l o r i s t e  comme i l n'y en a p a s e n c o r e S . u " I n l e t t e r 525, (15 A u g u s t , I. 1888) V i n c e n t a g a i n c a l l s f o r an a c h i e v e m e n t i n p o r t r a i t u r e t o e q u a l Monet's r i c h a nd c o l o u r f u l l a n d s c a p e s , and a g a i n i n d i c a t e t h a t i t n o t he, b u t some a r t i s t o f t h e f u t u r e g e n e r a t -i o n who w i l l a c c o m p l i s h t h i s t a s k . 93 J'aime mieux a t t e n d r e l a g e n e r a t i o n a v e n i r , q u i f e r a en p o r t r a i t ce que Claude Monet f a i t en paysage, l e paysage r i c h e e t crane a l a Guy de Maupassant. A l o r s je s a i s que moi j e ne s u i s pas de ces gens-la,mais l e F l a u b e r t e t l e s B a l z a c n'ont-i l s pas f a i t l e s £ola e t l e s Maupassant? Viv e done non pas nous, mais l a ge'ne'ration a v e n i r . (525) V i n c e n t f i r m l y b e l i e v e d t h a t t h i s new a r t of c o l o u r was to be centered i n the south. To Theo i n l e t t e r 555, (17 October, 1888) / he w r i t e s , Qu'une n o u v e l l e e c o l e c o l o r i s t e prendra r a c i n e dans l e m i d i j 1 y c r o i s , voyant de p l u s en p l u s que ceux du Nord se fondent p l u t o t sur l'habile'te de l a brosse, e t l ' e f f e t d i t p i t t o r e s q u e , que sur l e d e s i r d^exprimer quelque chose par l a c o u l e u r meme (555) V i n c e n t has a s t r o n g sense of h i s r o l e as a l i n k i n t h i s 292 c h a i n of a r t i s t s working w i t h c o l o u r . T h i s concept i s p a r t of V i n c e n t ' s f i r m b e l i e f t h a t he i s c a r r y i n g on the work of two a r t i s t s whom he a s s o c i a t e s w i t h the south, Eugene D e l a c r o i x and Adolphe M o n t i c e l l i . Through the s p r i n g and summer o f 1888,, V i n c e n t p o i n t e d to these two a r t i s t s as p r e c u r s o r s i n the 293 294 realm of exaggerated c o l o u r , and even s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r . V i n c e n t was e s p e c i a l l y a t t r a c t e d to M o n t i c e l l i , and i n h i s l e t t e r s t o Theo r e f e r s s e v e r a l times to the s t o r i e s t h a t d e s c r i b e d 29 5 M o n t i c e l l i i n h i s l a s t years i n M a r s e i l l e as l o n e l y and drunk. In s e v e r a l l e t t e r s of the f a l l o f 1888/Vincent e x p l a i n s t h a t he f e e l s he i s c a r r y i n g on M o n t i c e l l i ' s work. In W 8, (c. 26 August 1888), to W i l , V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s how he w i l l dress up l i k e M o n t i c e l l i and wander through M a r s e i l l e s to emphasize t h i s l i n k . 94 J e p e n s e moi i d enormement a M o n t i c e l l i . C ' e t a i t un homme f o r t - un peu t o q u e e t meme bea u c o u p - r e v a n t s o l e i l e t amour e t g a i t e ' m a i s t o u j o u r s embete'par l a p o u v r e t e ' - un g o u t e x t r e m e n t r a f f i n e de c o l o r i s t e , un homme de r a c e r a r e c o n t i n u a n t l e s m e i l l e u r s t r a d i t i o n s a n c i e n n e s I I meurt a M a r s e i l l e a s s e z t r i s t -ement e t p r o b a b l e m e n t en p a s s a n t p a r v e r i t a b l e Gethsemane. Eh b i e n , moi j e s u i s s u r que j e l e c o n t i n u e i c i comme s i j ' e t a i s s o n f i l s ou son f r e r e . NOJJS p a r l i o n s t o u t a l ' h e u r e de f a t a l i t e ' q u i nous p a r a i t t r i s t e . M a i s n'en e x i s t e - i l p a s une a u t r e f a t a l i t e c h a r m a n t e . E t q u ' e s t c e que c e l a nous f a i t q u ' i l y a i t ou non une r e s u r r e c t i o n l o r s q u e nous v o y o n s immediatement s u r g i r un homme v i v a n t a l a p l a c e , d'un homme mort . Re-p r e n a n t l a meme c a u s e , c o n t i n u a n t l e meme t r a v a i l , v i v a n t de l a meme v i e , mourant de l a meme m o r t . L ' o r s q u e 1'ami G a u g u i n s e r a i c i e t que nous i r o n s a M a r s e i l l e j e me s u i s b i e n p r o p o s e de me promener l a s u r l a C a n n e b i e r e a b s o l u m e n t v e t u comme l u i , comme j ' a i v u son p o r t r a i t a v e c un immense c h a p e a u j a u n e , un v e s t o n de v e l o u r s n o i r , un p a n t a l o n b l a n c , de g a n t s j a u n e s e t une canne de r o s e a u , e t a v e c un g r a n d a i r m e r i d i o n a l . (W8) To Theo i n l e t t e r 541, ( c . 23 o r 24 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t a l s o i n d i c a t e s t h a t he i s c o n t i n u i n g M o n t i c e l l i ' s work. I n d e s c r i b i n g h i s own r e c e n t p a i n t i n g s he w r i t e s , L e s e t u d e s a c t u e l l e s s o n t r e e l l e m e n t d'une s e u l e c o u l e e de p a t e . L a t o u c h e n ' e s t pas d i v i s e e b e a u c o u p e t l e s t o n s s o n t s o u v e n t rompus, e t e n f i n i n v o l o n t a i r e m e n t j e s u i s o b l i g e ' d'y empater a. l a M o n t i c e l l i . P a r f o i s N j e c r o i s r e e l l e m e n t c o n t i n u e r c e t homme - l a . . . . (541) I n a p o s t s c r i p t t o l e t t e r 542, (25 o r 26 September, 1888), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t t h i s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t he i s c a r r y i n g on M o n t i c e l l i ' s work i s t i e d t o h i s v i s i o n o f f o u n d i n g a s t u d i o i n t h e s o u t h w i t h G a u g u i n . 95 Un j o u r Mme de L a r e b y L a r o u q u e t t e me d i t : 'Mais M o n t i c e l l i , M o n t i c e l l i , m a i s c ' e t a i t un homme q u i a u r a i t du e t r e a l a t e t e d'un g r a n d a t e l i e r dans l e m i d i . ' M o i j ' a i £ c r i t a n o t r e s o e u r e t a t o i , t u t e r a p p e l l e s , 1 ' a u t r e j o u r , que p a r f o i s j e c r o y a i s s e n t i r q u i ; j e " c o r i t i n u a i s M o n t i c e l l i i c i . Bon, m a i s t u v o i s a c t u e l l e m e n t , c e t a t e l i e r en q u e s t i o n nous l e f o n d o n s . Ce que f e r a G a u g u i n , c e que moi a u s s i j e f e r a i , c e l a se t i e n d r a a v e c c e t t e b e l l e o u e v r e de M o n t i c e l l i e t nous c h e r c h e r o n s a p r o u v e r aux bonnes p e r s o n n e s que M o n t i c e l l i n ' e s t p a s mor t a v a c h i s u r l e s t a b l e s des c a f e s de l a C a n n e b i e r e t o u t a f a i t , m a i s que l e p e t i t bonhomme v i t e n c o r e . E t a v e c nous memes l a c h o s e me f i n i r a meme p a s , nous l a m e t t o n s en t r a i n s u r b a s e a s s e z s o l i d e . (542) The s t u d i o o f t h e s o u t h , w h i l e p r o v i d i n g a b a s e f o r an a s s o c -i a t i o n o f p a i n t e r s o f p r e s e n t and f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s a l s o assumes a more s y m b o l i c r o l e . V i n c e n t f i r m l y b e l i e v e s i n a 29 6 new a r t o f c o l o u r , and t h u s , i s a b l e t o s e e h i s own c o n c e r n w i t h c o l o u r as a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e c o n c e r n s o f a r t i s t s s u c h 29 7 as D e l a c r o i x and M o n t i c e l l i . T h a t , M o n t i c e l l i a c t u a l l y worked 29 8 i n t h e s o u t h o f F r a n c e , and t h a t he d i e d i n p o v e r t y seems t o r e i n f o r c e V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n o f a s t u d i o i n t h e s o u t h t h a t w o u l d p r o v i d e a r e f u g e n o t o n l y f o r a r t i s t s o f t h e p r e s e n t , b u t f o r t h o s e o f t h e f u t u r e who w i l l h o p e f u l l y c a r r y on V i n c e n t ' s work as he" has c a r r i e d on M o n t i c e l l i s ' . As w i l l be shown i n t h e f o l l o w i n g d e s c u s s i o n o f t h e c a n v a s e s f o r t h e d e c o r a t i o n V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n o f t h e b i r t h o f a new a r t c e n t e r e d i n t h e s o u t h , and h i s s t r o n g s e n s e o f a r t i s t i c l e g a c y , merge w i t h a v e r y p e r s o n a l n e e d t o f o r m u l a t e a m e a n i n g f u l and h e n c e c o n s o l i n g v i s i o n o f human e x i s t e n c e . A f o c u s on a u t u m n a l s u b j e c t m a t t e r and a c o n c e r n w i t h t h e s u g g e s t i v e r 96 p r o p e r t i e s o f c o l o u r i n t h e d e c o r a t i o n c a n v a s e s , a l l o w t h e s e l a r g e r themes t o be e x p r e s s e d . 97 CHAPTER V I THE DECORATION CANVASES The s e v e n t e e n s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s t h a t V i n c e n t had p a i n t e d f o r t h e d e c o r a t i o n o f h i s Y e l l o w House by t h e t i m e o f G a u g u i n ' s a r r i v a l i n A r i e s on O c t o b e r 23 o r 24, 1888, have b e e n i d e n t i f i e d i n 299 I n t r o d u c t i o n . As w e l l , V i n c e n t ' s r e f e r e n c e s t o a c o n c e r n w i t h s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r , and h i s announcement o f a new t e c h n i q u e t h a t d e l i b e r a t e l y a v o i d s t h e d e t a i l e d b r u s h w o r k o f i m p r e s s i o n i s m , and n e o i m p r e s s i o n i s m , have been p o i n t e d o u t . 3 ^ The d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e d e c o r a t i o n c a n v a s e s i n t h e s e c t i o n s o f t h i s c h a p t e r w i l l f o l l o w as c l o s e l y a s p o s s i b l e t h e o r d e r i n w h i c h e a c h was p a i n t e d . E a c h s e c t i o n w i l l c o m p r i s e a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e c a n v a s , o r c a n v a s e s c o n c e r n e d , f o l l o w e d by a s u r v e y a n d a n a l y s i s o f V i n c e n t ' s r e m a r k s c o n c e r n i n g e a c h c a n v a s , i n o r d e r t o d e t e r m i n e t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f c o l o u r , c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s and t e c h n i q u e t o t h e i n t e n d e d meaning o f e a c h work. The S u n f l o w e r s , F.454, and F.456. The two s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s o f s u n f l o w e r s t h a t a r e p a r t o f t h e d e c o r a t i o n o f c a n v a s e s f o r t h e Y e l l o w House a r e Va s e w i t h T w e l v e S u n f l o w e r s , F.456, ( P l a t e 1 ) , f i r s t d e s c r i b e d i n l e t t e r 526, ( c . 21 A u g u s t , 1888), and V a s e w i t h F o u r t e e n S u n f l o w e r s , F.454, ( P l a t e 2 ) , d e s c r i b e d i n b o t h l e t t e r s 527, ( c . 22 A u g u s t , 1888), and 301 528, ( c . 26 A u g u s t , 1888). The f o c u s i n b o t h c a n v a s e s i s a 98 s t o n e w a r e v a s e f i l l e d w i t h s u n f l o w e r s . The v a s e i s p l a c e d upon a p l a i n f l a t t a b l e s u r f a c e , r e p r e s e n t e d as a h o r i z o n t a l band t h a t e x t e n d s a c r o s s t h e l o w e r q u a r t e r o f t h e c a n v a s . A p l a i n s o l i d c o l o u r a r e a p r o v i d e s t h e b a c k g r o u n d t o t h i s s u b j e c t . I n V a s e w i t h  T w e l v e S u n f l o w e r s , F.456, t h i s b a c k g r o u n d i s a p a l e b l u e - g r e e n , and b r o a d i n t e r w o v e n , h o r i z o n t a l and v e r t i c a l b r u s h s t r o k e s t e x t u r e t h e t h i c k i m p a s t e o f t h i s c o l o u r a r e a . The t a b l e s u r f a c e i s r e n -d e r e d i n a t h i c k y e l l o w - g o l d p i g m e n t t e x t u r e d w i t h p r e d o m i n a n t l y h o r i z o n t a l b r u s h s t r o k e s . The l o w e r h a l f o f t h e s t o n e w a r e v a s e i s a n e u t r a l b e i g e , w i t h t o u c h e s o f p a l e o r a n g e and y e l l o w e v i d e n t i n t h e i m p a s t o ; t h e u p p e r h a l f o f t h i s v a s e i s p a l e y e l l o w , t h e p i g m e n t a p p l i e d i n s h o r t h o r i z o n t a l b r u s h s t r o k e s . I n c o n t r a s t , t h e bu n c h o f f l o w e r h e ads a r e r e n d e r e d by means o f a c l o s e l y t e x t u r e d i m p a s t o e d s u r f a c e t h a t s u g g e s t s e i t h e r t h e m i n u t e d e t a i l o f a m u l t i t u d e o f p e t a l s , o r , i n f u l l y o p e ned f l o w e r s , t h e s t r i a t i o n s and f o l d s o f e a c h s i n g l e p e t a l . I n V a s e w i t h F o u r t e e n S u n f l o w e r s , F.454, t h e c o m p o s i t i o n v a r i e s as t h e f l o w e r heads a r e n o t so c l o s e l y massed t o g e t h e r and i n s t e a d s t a n d o r d r o o p upon t h e i r l o n g s t a l k s . I n t h i s c a n v a s , b o t h t h e h o r i z o n t a l g o l d band o f t h e t a b l e t o p and t h e s t o n e w a r e v a s e — t h e u p p e r h a l f g o l d and t h e l o w e r h a l f a cream o r n e u t r a l c o l o u r — a r e r e n d e r e d i n a f l a t i m p a s t o t h a t does n o t r e v e a l t h e b r u s h w o r k p a t t e r n . The f l o w e r s i n t h i s com-p o s i t i o n , v a r i o u s y e l l o w s and g o l d s , a r e r e n d e r e d by means o f t h e same d e n s e l y t e x t u r e d i m p a s t o as V a s e w i t h T w e l v e S u n f l o w e r s , F.456. The b a c k g r o u n d a g a i n s t w h i c h t h e y a r e s e t however, i s a p a l e y e l l o w w i t h s m a l l t o u c h e s o f g r e e n e v i d e n t i n t h e i m p a s t o e d . 3 0 2 s u r f a c e . 99 The c o l o u r s u s e d i n e a c h o f t h e s e c a n v a s e s i n i t i a l l y a p p e a r t o answer t o V i n c e n t ' s p r o m i s e i n l e t t e r 526, ( c . 21 A u g u s t , 1888), t h a t t h e d e c o r a t i o n o f s u n f l o w e r s w i l l be, "une symphonie en b l u e 303 e t j a u n e . . . " . However, a new t e c h n i q u e f o r r e n d e r i n g c o l o u r t h a t V i n c e n t announces i n h i s f i r s t d i s c u s s i o n s o f t h e s e c a n v a s e s i s a l s o i m p o r t a n t t o t h e s u n f l o w e r s . I n l e t t e r 526, ( c . 21 A u g u s t , 1888), f o l l o w i n g a d e s c r i p -t i o n o f h i s f i r s t t h r e e s u n f l o w e r c a n v a s e s w h i c h i n c l u d e s V a s e w i t h  T w e l v e S u n f l o w e r s , F.456, V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s , . . . j e commence de p l u s en p l u s a c h e r c h e r une t e c h n i q u e s i m p l e , q u i p e u t - e t r e n ' e s t p a s i m p r e s s i o n i s t e . J e v o u d r a i s p e i n d r e de f a c o n , qu'a l a r i g e u r t o u t l e monde q u i a des yeux, p u i s s e y v o i r c l a i r . (526) V i n c e n t d e f i n e s what he means by, "une t e c h n i q u e s i m p l e " , i n h i s f o l l o w i n g l e t t e r 527, ( c . 22 A u g u s t , 1 8 8 8 ) , i n w h i c h he a l s o d e s -c r i b e s h i s f o u r t h s u n f l o w e r c a n v a s , V a s e w i t h F o u r t e e n S u n f l o w e r s , F.454, as p a i n t e d "avec p l u s de s i m p l i c i t e ' . . . . " 3"~' , a-E s t - c e que t u r a p e l l e s que nous avons un j o u r vu a 1 ' h o t e l D r o u o t un Manet b i e n e x t r a -o r d i n a i r e , q u e l q u e s g r o s s e s p i v o i n e s r o s e s e t l e u r s f e u i l l e s v e r t e s s u r un f o n d c l a i r ? A u s s i dans l ' a i r , e t a u s s i f l e u r que n ' i m p o r t e q u o i , e t p o u r t a n t p e i n t en p l e i n e p a t e s o l i d e . . . V o i l a c e que j ' a p p e l e r a i s s i m p l i c i t e de t e c h n i q u e . E t j e d o i s t e d i r e que de c e s j o u r s -— c i j e m ' e f f o r c e a t r o u v e r un t r a v a i l de l a b r o s s e s a n s p o i n t i l l e ou a u t r e c h o s e , r i e n que l a t o u c h e v a r i e e . M a i s un j o u r t u v e r r a s . (527) I n l e t t e r 528, ( c . 26 A u g u s t , 1 8 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t a g a i n n o t e s t h a t i n t h e c a n v a s o f f o u r t e e n s u n f l o w e r s t h e p a i n t i n g i s , " b i e n p l u s s i m p l e " , and a g a i n c i t e s Manet's p e o n i e s p a i n t e d , "en p l e i n e p a t e " , t o e x p l a i n h i s u s e o f t h e t e r m . T h a t t h e u s e o f a s i m p l e 100 and t h i c k i m p a s t o i s an a l t e r n a t i v e t o p o i n t i l i s t t e c h n i q u e i s a l s o r e a s s e r t e d . P o u r l e p o i n t i l l e ' p o u r a u r e o l e r ou a u t r e c h o s e s j e t r o u v e c e l a un v e r i t a b l e d e c o u v e r t e ; m a i s c ' e s t d e j a a p r e v o i r que c e t t e t e c h n i q u e , p a s p l u s qu'une a u t r e , de v e i n d r a un dogma u n i v e r s e l . R a i s o n de p l u s p o u r q u o i "La Grande J a t t e " de S e u r a t , l e s p a y s a g e s a g r o s p o i n t i l l e s de S i g n a c , l e b a t e a u d ' A n q u e t i n , p a r l e temps d e v e i n d r o n t e n c o r e p e r s o n e l l e s . . . . " (528) V i n c e n t ' s r e j e c t i o n o f p o i n t i l i s m and s t i p p l i n g o u t l i n e d i n t h e s e two l e t t e r s had b e e n h i n t e d a t a few weeks e a r l i e r i n l e t t e r 520, (11 A u g u s t , 1 8 8 8 ) , when V i n c e n t had d e s c r i b e d h i s f i r s t p o r t r a i t o f t h e p e a s a n t , P a t i e n c e E s c a l i e r , and e m p h a s i z e d t h a t h i s a i m was t o e x a g g e r a t e c o l o u r i n o r d e r t o e x p r e s s h i m s e l f f o r c e f u l l y . 3 ^ 4 He c o n c l u d e d t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n by a d d i n g t h a t he w o u l d n o t be s u r -p r i s e d / ' s i peu l e s i m p r e s s i o n i s t e s a r e d i r e s u r ma f a c o n de f a i r e . . . " I n b o t h V a s e w i t h T w e l v e S u n f l o w e r s , F.456, and V a s e w i t h  F o u r t e e n S u n f l o w e r s , F.454, V i n c e n t ' s e x p l o r a t i o n o f h i s new and s i m p l e t e c h n i q u e may be s e e n . I n b o t h c a n v a s e s , a new b r u s h w o r k works a t h i c k i m p a s t o i n t o a p a t t e r n o f r i d g e s a n d p e a k s t h a t a r e b r o a d and v a r i e d i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d , and s m a l l and d e t a i l e d i n a r e a s s u c h as t h e f l o w e r c e n t r e s . I n t h i s way a s o l i d o r u n i f o r m c o l o u r a r e a i s g i v e n a l u s t r o u s o r v i b r a n t e f f e c t by means o f t h e c o n t r a s t between t h e h i g h l i g h t s a n d shadows c r e a t e d by t h e t e x t u r e d s u r f a c e . The t e c h n i q u e i s " s i m p l e " as i n d i v i d u a l b r u s h s t r o k e s a r e r e p l a c e d by t h i s more f l u i d manner o f a p p l y i n g p i g m e n t t o t h e c a n v a s . W i t h i n a s i n g l e c o l o u r a r e a , t h e m a n i p u l a t i o n o f a t h i c k and t e x t u r e d i m p a s t o may e f f e c t a d e t a i l e d o r p l a i n c o l o u r s u r f a c e . W h i l e t h e n e e d f o r t h e c a r e f u l a p p l i c a t i o n o f hues and hue v a r i a -101 t i o n s i s removed, the tendency i n impastoed p a i n t i n g f o r a s i n g l e b r ushstroke t o c a r r y and mix two or thr e e pigment c o l o u r s may be used t o achieve s u b t l e c o l o u r nuances. In l e t t e r W 8, (c. 26 August, 1888), w r i t t e n j u s t a f t e r the completion o f the Vase w i t h Fourteen Sunflowers, F. 454, V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s one o f h i s sunflower canvases i n a way t h a t g i v e s a wider s i g n i f i c a n c e t o t h i s s u b j e c t matter, c o l o u r , and technique. In t h i s l e t t e r as has been p o i n t e d out i n the preceeding chapter V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s a t l e n g t h h i s a d m i r a t i o n f o r the p a i n t e r M o n t i c e l l i , whom he d e s c r i b e s as, "un homme f o r t . , .revant s o l e i l e t amour e t g a i t e " . V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t he f e e l s he i s c a r r y i n g on M o n t i c e l l i ' s work i n the south as i f he was M o n t i c e l l i ' s son or h i s brother,and t o emphasize t h i s p o i n t d e s c r i b e s how once Gauguin a r r i v e s i n A r i e s , he intends to dress up l i k e M o n t i c e l l i and walk through M a r s e i l l e s , w h i c h V i n c e n t a n t i c i p a t e s w i l l cause g r e a t excitement among M o n t i c e l l i ' s acquaintances 305 and f r i e n d s . V i n c e n t then d e s c r i b e s h i s Vase w i t h Fourteen Sunflowers, F. 454, i n r e l a t i o n to M o n t i c e l l i . M o n t i c e l l i e s t un p e i n t r e q u i a f a i t l e M i d i en p l e i n jaune, en p l e i n orange, en p l e i n s o u f r e . . . . A u s s i moi j ' a i d e j a p r e t expres un ta b l e a u en p l e i n jaune de t o u r n e s o l s (14 f l e u r s dans un vase jaune e t sur un fond jaune, e'en e s t encore un aut r e que l e precedent avec 12 f l e u r s sur fond b l e u - v e r t ) . E t j e compte un j o u r exposer c e l u i - l a a M a r s e i l l e . E t t u ve r r a s q u ' i l y aura un M a r s e i l l a i s ou un autr e q u i se souviendra de ce que M o n t i c e l l i a d i t e t f a i t dans l e temps. ^ The use o f y e l l o w s , oranges, and ochres i n Vase wi t h Fourteen  Sunflowers, F. 454,-colours t h a t M o n t i c e l l i i s d e s c r i b e s as having used to render the south-poses the sunflowers as a hommage to 102 M o n t i c e l l i and to the south. However, V i n c e n t a s s o c i a t e s not o n l y the c o l o u r s t h a t appear i n h i s sunflower canvases, p a r t i c u l a r l y Vase w i t h Fourteen Sunflowers, F. 454, w i t h M o n t i c e l l i , but a l s o h i s use of a t h i c k i n p a s t o . In l e t t e r 5 4 1 , ( 0 . 23 or 24 30 September, 1888),Vincent l i k e n s h i s use of pigment to M o n t i c e l l i * s , u s i n g t h i s s i m i l a r i t y as an example o f how he f e e l s h i s i s c a r r y i n g on the dead p a i n t e r s work. Les etudes a c t u e l l e s sont re"element d'une se u l e coulee de pate. La touche n'est pas d i v i s e e beaucoup e t l e s tons souvent rompus, et e n f i n i n v o l o n t a i r e m e n t j e s u i s o b l i g e d'y empater a l a M o n t i c e l l i . Par f o i s j e c r o i s r e e l l e m e n t c o n t i n u e r c e t homme-la.... (541) In a p o s t s c r i p t to l e t t e r 542, (25 or 26 September, 1888), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t t h i s f e e l i n g t h a t he i s c a r r y i n g on M o n t i c e l l i ' s work i s bound up with h i s v i s i o n o f the s t u d i o o f the south, as he argues t h a t by p a i n t i n g the landscape and people of the south i n c o l o u r , both Gauguin and he w i l l prove t h a t M o n t i c e l l i d i d not waste h i s l i f e , as the d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s death, "avachi sur l e s t a b l e s s \ 307 des c a f e s de l a Cannebiere", i m p l i e s . Given t h i s a s s o c i a t i o n , V i n c e n t ' s use of a t h i c k impasto i n a canvas f o r the d e c o r a t i o n of the Yellow House seems p a r t i c u l a r l y f i t t i n g as t h i s t e c h -nique o v e r t l y p o i n t s to V i n c e n t ' s own c o n t i n u a t i o n of a prede-c e s s o r ' s work. The Vase w i t h Fourteen Sunflowers, F. 454, then, may be seen, i n terms of c o l o u r and p o s s i b l y technique, as a r e f e r e n c e t o M o n t i c e l l i , a r e f e r e n c e t h a t i m p l i e s V i n c e n t ' s determination t o e f f e c t a s t u d i o where a new a r t o f c o l o u r w i l l f l o u r i s h both i n the p r e s e n t and i n the f u t u r e . 103 I t i s p o s s i b l e t o see the arrangement o f sunflowers i n both s i z e 30 canvases as su p p o r t i n g t h i s concept o f a r t i s t i c l e g a c y . In both Vase w i t h Twelve Sunflowers, - F.456, and Vase  with Fourteen Sunflowers, F.454, the sunflowers are shown i n stages ranging from f u l l bloom through to a bare f l o w e r head t h a t has almost t o t a l l y gone to seed. There i s a c y c l i c a l emphasis i m p l i e d i n t h i s image as the f a d i n g o f the flow e r t o produce seeds promises the g e n e r a t i o n o f new growth. As such,the compo-s i t i o n of the sunflowers may be seen as an a l l u s i o n t o V i n c e n t ' s concept o f the c o n t i n u a t i o n of an a r t i s t through the work of ano-t h e r . Indeed, i n l e t t e r W8, (c. 26 August, 1888), t o W i l , V i n c e n t had used the term " r e s u r r e c t i o n " t o d e s c r i b e the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f a l i v i n g a r t i s t , such as h i m s e l f , s p r i n g i n g up i n the same p l a c e as a dead a r t i s t , such as M o n t i c e l l i . I I ( M o n t i c e l l i ) meurt a M a r s e i l l e assez t r i s t e m e n t . . . E h b i e n , moi j e s u i s sur que j e l e continue i c i comme s i j ' e t a i s son f i l s ou son f r e r e . Nous p a r l i o n s t o u t a l'heure de f a t a l i t e q u i nous p a r a i t t r i s t e . Mais n'en e x i s t e — i l pas une autre f a t a l i t e charmante. E t qu'est ce que c e l a nous f a i t qu:'il y a i t ou non une r e s u r r e c t i o n l o r s q u e nous voyons immediatement s u r g i r un homme v i v a n t a l a p l a c e d'un homme mort. (W8) That V i n c e n t intended t o convey t h i s sense o f a r t i s t i c c o n t i n u a -t i o n by h i s focus on sunflowers i n v a r i o u s stages o f t h e i r c y c l e i s f u r t h e r supported by h i s use of a flower image i n a s i m i l a r way some months e a r l i e r . In the s p r i n g of 1888, upon h e a r i n g of the death of the a r t i s t , Anton Mauve, V i n c e n t ' s response i n l e t t e r 472, (30 or 31 March, 1888), was to quote a verse t h a t 104 a f f i r m s t h e s u r v i v a l o f t h e dead t h r o u g h t h e work o f t h e l i v i n g . Ne c r o i s p a s que l e s m o r t s s o i e n t m o r t s , T a n t q u ' i l y a u r a des v i v a n t s , L e s m o r t s v i v r o n t , l e s m o r t s v i v r o n t . (472) I n t h i s same l e t t e r V i n c e n t e x p l a i n e d t h a t he had d e d i c a t e d a 308 r e c e n t c a n v a s o f a young p e a c h t r e e i n b l o o m t o t h e memory o f Mauve b e c a u s e , " i l me s e m b l a i t q u ' i l f a l l a i t en memoire de Mauve q u e l q u e c h o s e e t de t e n d r e e t de t r e s g a i " . The c h o i c e o f t h i s b l o s s o m i n g f r u i t t r e e seems d e s i g n e d t o i m p l y o n g o i n g l i f e , and p r o m i s e o f f u t u r e f r u i t f u l l n e s s t h r o u g h t h e work o f o t h e r s , t h a t i s V i n c e n t ' s r e s p o n s e t o Mauve's d e a t h . The above i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e s u n -f l o w e r blooms t h a t r a n g e f r o m h e ads i n f l o w e r t o t h o s e gone t o s e e d i s d e p e n d a n t on V i n c e n t ' s s p e c i a l c o n c e p t o f a r t i s t i c c o n -309 t i n u a t i o n o u t l i n e d p r e v i o u s l y , and n o t on t h e t r a d i t i o n a l 310 • • i c o n o g r a p h y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s u n f l o w e r s . T h a t t h i s i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n i s p o s s i b l y v a l i d h e r e , however, i s s u g g e s t e d , as i t w i l l be shown i n t h e f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n s o f t h e r e m a i n i n g s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s o f t h e d e c o r a t i o n t h a t s e v e r a l e m p h a s i z e a s i m i l a r theme, and t h e r e b i r t h i m a g e r y i m p l i c i t i n a u t u m n a l s u b j e c t m a t t e r i s i n t e g r a t e d w i t h V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n o f a r t i s t i c c o n t i n u a t i o n c u l m i n -a t i n g i n a r e n a i s s a n c e e f f e c t i n g a f u t u r e a r t o f c o l o u r . The N i g h t Cafe', F.463. In l e t t e r 533, (8 September, 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s t o Theo h i s c a n v a s o f The N i g h t C a f e , F . 4 6 3 , 3 1 1 ( P l a t e 3 ) . | h e s u b j e c t o f t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n i s a g a r i s h l y c o l o u r e d c a f e i n t e r i o r l i t by 105 t h r e e gas l i g h t s . The v i e w i s t o w a r d t h e b a r a t t h e f a r end o f t h e cafe", and a l i g h t e d room g l i m p s e d b e h i n d a c u r t a i n e d doorway i n t h e w a l l b e h i n d . T a b l e s and c h a i r s l i n e t h r e e w a l l s o f t h e c a f e ' and a l a r g e b i l l i a r d t a b l e o c c u p i e s t h e c e n t r e o f t h e room. The c a f e ' i s s p a r s e l y p o p u l a t e d . Two f i g u r e s s p r a w l o r s l e e p o v e r a t a b l e on t h e r i g h t w a l l , a man and woman c o n v e r s e a t a t a b l e a g a i n s t t h e r e a r w a l l , and a s i n g l e man hunches o v e r a t a b l e a t t h e f a r end o f t h e l e f t w a l l . The p r o p r i e t o r o f t h e c a f e s t a n d s i n t h e c e n t r e o f t h e room and s t a r e s o u t a t t h e v i e w e r . V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s i n l e t t e r 533, (8 September, 1888), t h a t he p a i n t e d t h i s c a n v a s by s t a y i n g up f o r t h r e e c o n s e c u t i v e n i g h t s and t h a t t h e s u b j e c t was u n d e r t a k e n as he was a b o u t t o move i n t o 3 1 2 t h e Y e l l o w House, and w i s h e d t o avenge h i m s e l f f o r p a y i n g so much room and b o a r d t o h i s f o r m e r l a n d l o r d , t h e h o t e l and c a f e ' p r o p r i e t o r . I n i t i a l l y , V i n c e n t seems t o have hoped t o have made up h i s l o s t money by s e l l i n g t h i s c a n v a s o f t h e n i g h t cafe'; w i t h t h e c a n v a s c o m p l e t e d , however, V i n c e n t abandons t h i s p l a n , as t h e p i c t u r e , he f e e l s , i s u g l y . M a i n t e n a n t p o u r c e q u i e s t de r a t t r a p e r 1 ' a r g e n t paye au l o g e u r p a r ma p e i n t u r e , j e n 1 i n s i s t e p a s , c a r l e t a b l e a u e s t un des p l u s l a i d s que j ' a i f a i t s . I I e s t e q u i v a l e n t , q u o i q u e d i f f e r e n t , aux Mangeurs de pommes de t e r r e . (533) T h i s s t a t e m e n t condemns n e i t h e r The N i g h t Cafe'', F.463, n o r t h e 313 Nuenen c a n v a s o f 1885, The P o t a t o E a t e r s , F.82. R a t h e r i t r a i s e s a g a i n a p o i n t t h a t V i n c e n t h i m s e l f made i n t h e summer o f 1888 when he had i n d i c a t e d i n l e t t e r 520, (11 A u g u s t , 1888), t h a t 106 h i s e x p l o r a t i o n o f a s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r was i n many ways d e p e n d a n t upon c o n c e r n s a t work i n 1885, "k l a campagne, a v a n t de c o n n a i t r e 314 l e s i m p r e s s i o n i s t e s " . V i n c e n t ' s c o n t i n u i n g c o n c e r n w i t h s u g g e s -t i v e c o l o u r had b e e n r e a f f i r m e d i n l e t t e r 531, (3 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , when V i n c e n t w r o t e o f h i s s t u d y o f c o l o u r , J ' a i t o u j o u r s l ' e s p o i r de t r o u v e r q u e l q u e c h o s e l a - d e d a n s . E x p r i m e r 1'amour de deux amoureux p a r un m a r i a g e de deux c o m p l e m e n t a i r e s , l e u r melange e t l e u r s o p p o s i t i o n s , ^ l e s v i b r a t i o n s m y s t e r i -eux des t o n s r a p p r o c h e s . E x p r i m e r l a p e n s e e d'un f r o n t p a r l e rayonnement d'un t o n c l a i r s u r un f o n d sombre. E x p r i m e r l ' e s p e r a n c e p a r q u e l q u ' e t o i l e . L ' a r d e u r d'un e t r e p a r un r a y o n n e m e n t de s o l e i l c o u c h a n t . Ce n ' e s t c e r t e s pas l a du t r o mpe-l ' o e i l r e a l i s t e , m a i s n ' e s t - c e pas une c h o s e r e e l l e m e n t e x i s t a n t e ? (531) In The N i g h t Cafe', F.46 3, V i n c e n t u s e s b o t h e x a g g e r a t e d and s u g g e s -t i v e c o l o u r , as he e x p l a i n s t o Theo i n l e t t e r 533, (8 September, 315 1888) , 3 J ' a i c h e r c h e a e x p r i m e r a v e c l e r o u g e e t l e s v e r t s l e s t e r r i b l e s p a s s i o n s h u m a i n e s . L a s a l l e e s t r o u g e j a u n e s o u r d , un b i l l i a r d v e r t au m i l i e u , 4 lampes j a u n e c i t r o n a r ayonnement o r a n g e e t v e r t . C ' e s t p a r t o u t un combat e t une a n t i t h e s e des v e r t s e t des r o u g e s l e s p l u s d i f f e r e n t s , dans l e s p e r s o n n -a g e s de v o y o u s dormeurs p e t i t s , dans l a s a l l e v i d e e t t r i s t e , du v i o l e t e t du b l e u . Le r o u g e sang e t l e v e r t j a u n e du b i l l a r d exemple c o n t r a s t e n t a v e c l e p e t i t v e r t t e n d r e L o u i s XV du c o m p t o i r , ou i l y a un b o u q u e t r o s e . L e s v e t e m e n t s b l a n c s du p a t r o n , v e i l l a n t dans un c o i n dans c e t t e f o u r n a i s e d e v i e n n e n t j a u n e c i t r o n , v e r t p a l e e t l u m i n e u x . . . . Le " C a f e de n u i t " c o n t i n u e l e "Semeur", a i n s i que l a t e t e du v i e u x p a y s a n e t du p o e t e . . . . C ' e s t un c o u l e u r a l o r s p a s l o c a l e m e n t v r a i e au p o i n t de vue r e a l i s t e du t r o m p e - 1 ' o e i l , m a i s une c o u l e u r s u g g e s t i v e d'une e m o t i o n q u e l c o n que d ' a r d e u r de temperament. (533) 107 V i n c e n t ' s e m p h a s i s o f h a r s h , c l a s h i n g and c o n t r a s t i n g c o l o u r s i s t o s u g g e s t h i s own r e s p o n s e t o t h e a l l n i g h t c a f e . I n l e t t e r 534, (9 September, 1888), V i n c e n t i n d i c a t e s more c l e a r l y h i s p e r s o n a l v i s i o n o f t h e c a f e . Dans mon t a b l e a u de c a f e ' de n u i t , j ' a i c h e r c h e a e x p r i m e r que l e c a f e e s t un e n d r o i t ou 1'on p e u t se r u i n e r , d e v i n e r f o u , commettre des c r i m e s . E n f i n j ' a i c h e r c h e p a r des c o n t r a s t e s de r o s e t e n d r e e t de r o u g e s a n g e t l i e de v i n , de doux v e r t L o u i s XV e t V e r o n e s e , c o n t r a s t a n t a v e c l e s v e r t s j a u n e s , e t l e s v e r t s b l e u s d u r s , t o u t c e l a dans une a t m o s p h e r e de f o u r n a i s e i n f e r n a l e , de s o u f r e p a l e , e x p r i m e r comme l a p u i s s a n c e d e s t e n e b r e s d'un assommoir. (534) 5 I n t h i s s t a t e m e n t V i n c e n t makes i t c l e a r t h a t t h e i m p a c t o f t h i s c a n v a s , t h e p o r t r a y a l o f an e n v i r o n m e n t t h a t i s a r t i f i c i a l , d i s -q u i e t i n g and u p s e t t i n g , i s t o be c o n v e y e d p r i m a r i l y by c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The a t t e n t i o n g i v e n t o t h e b a l a n c e o f complemen-t a r y p a i r s i n V i n c e n t ' s work o f 1888, has b een d i s c u s s e d a l r e a d y o n e i n t h i s t h e s i s . The n o t a b l e e x c e p t i o n t o t h i s c a r e f u l b a l a n c e o f c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r s , The Zouave, F.423, was d e s c r i b e d by V i n c e n t as v u l g a r , h a r s h and u g l y . 3 1 7 I n The N i g h t Cafe', F.463, a s i m i l a r and d e l i b e r a t e a v o i d a n c e o f c o l o u r b a l a n c e i s m a n i p u l a t e d t o p r o d u c e t h e g l a r i n g and d i s t u r b i n g c a f e i n t e r i o r . A b r i l l i a n t y e l l o w - g r e e n i n t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n d e f i n e s t h e c e i l i n g o f t h e c a f e ; t h e u p p e r w a l l i s a band o f f l a t b r i g h t r e d , and t h e f l o o r and l o w e r w a l l s a r e a b r i l l i a n t y e l l o w . The l o w e r h a l f o f t h i s com-p o s i t i o n , t h e n , i s d o m i n a t e d by r e d and y e l l o w and t h e b r i g h t n e s s o f t h e f l o o r , i n s t e a d o f c e i l i n g , i m p a r t s a d i s t u r b i n g q u a l i t y o f h a r d and a r t i f i c i a l l i g h t . The t r a n s f o r m i n g power o f t h i s y e l l o w 108 l i g h t i s e a s i l y seen: the f r o n t of the bar and the top of the b i l l i a r d t a b l e become a g l a r i n g green-yellow, the j a c k e t s of the seated f i g u r e s become a washed out b l u e , and the s u i t of the p r o p r i e t o r - p r e s u m a b l y a white or. n e u t r a l c o l o u r under d a y l i g h t -assumes the u n n a t u r a l green and y e l l o w t i n t t h a t dominates the room. No p l a y of shadows around the room s o f t e n s or a l l e v i a t e s the harsh g l a r e of t h i s i n t e r i o r l i g h t ; the l a r g e shadow c a s t by the b i l l i a r d t a b l e i n the room's c e n t r e serves p r i m a r i l y t o add to the i n c o n g r u i t y of the scene. The t o t a l e f f e c t of V i n c e n t ' s c o l o u r m a n i p u l a t i o n then, i s g l a r i n g , hard, and o f f e n s i v e , and •A 318 suggests a r u t h l e s s i n t e r i o r i n which " l e s rodeurs du n u i t " , can f i n d no r e s t . The emphasis i n The Night Cafe", F.463, on the d i s t u r b i n g and u n n a t u r a l environment t h a t i s the o n l y haven f o r the unwanted c i t i z e n s of the n i g h t has a p a r t i c u l a r r e l e v a n c e f o r V i n c e n t i n these weeks p r i o r t o Gauguin's a r r i v a l i n A r i e s . V i n c e n t had f i r s t i n d i c a t e d t h a t he intended to p a i n t the i n t e r i o r of t h i s c a f e by g a s l i g h t , i n l e t t e r 518, (6 August, 1888). In d e s c r i b i n g the o u t c a s t s who take refuge i n such n i g h t c a f e s , V i n c e n t i n d i c a t e s h i s own f e e l i n g s of i s o l a t i o n and homelessness, and makes a d i r e c t a s s o c i a t i o n between h i s own l i f e , and the l i v e s o f the n i g h t prowlers and o u t c a s t s , who are homeless and d i s t a n t from f a m i l y . Je v a i s aujourd'hui probablement commencer l ' i n t e " r i e u r du c a f e ou j e l o g e , l e s o i r au gaz. C'est ce qu'on a p p e l l e i c i un 'cafe de n u i t ' ( i l s sont assez frequents i c i ) q u i r e s t e n t ouverts t o u t e l a n u i t . Les 'rodeurs de n u i t ' peuvent y t r o u v e r un a s i l e done, l o r s q u ' i l s 109 n'ont pas de quoi se payer un logement ou q u ' i l s sont t r o p s o u l s pour y admis. Toutes l e s choses, f a m i l l e , p a t r i e sont p e u t - e t r e p l u s charmantes.dans 1'imagination de t e l s que nous, q u i nous passons p a s s a b l e -ment b i e n de p a t r i e a i n s i que de f a m i l l e . . . . I l me semble t o u j o u r s e t r e un voyageur, q u i va quelque p a r t e t a une d e s t i n a t i o n . (518) In l e t t e r 521, (12 August, 1888), V i n c e n t c h a r a c t e r i z e s both h i m s e l f and Gauguin as l i v i n g i n c a f e s and h o t e l s as madmen or c r i m i n a l s , "des fous ou ; m a l f a i t e u r s " . T h i s image corresponds t o Vi n c e n t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the n i g h t cafe" i n l e t t e r 534, (9 September, 1888), as a p l a c e where one can go mad and commit a crime, " l ' o n peut se r u i n e r , d e v i n e r fou, commettre des crimes". In l e t t e r 521, (12 August, 1888), V i n c e n t furt h e r ' poses j o i n i n g w i t h Gauguin and l i v i n g i n the Yellow House as an a l t e r n a t i v e to l i v i n g i n such c a f e s . . . . i l (Gauguin) n'y perd r a r i e n . . . . S i nous vivons chez nous a 1 ' a t e l i e r au l i e u de v i v r e l u i e t moi dans l e s cafes..:'. V i v a n t s e u l de p a r t e t d'autre ou v i t comme des fous ou m a l f a i t e u r s en apparence au moins, e t en r e a l i t e un peu egalement. (521) The serene aspects o f a permanent home are f r e q u e n t l y emphasized by V i n c e n t . In l e t t e r 532, (4 September, 1888), w r i t t e n j u s t p r i o r to the announcement of The Night Cafe, F.463, V i n c e n t d i s c u s s e s w i t h Theo the n e c e s s i t y o f having a home i n which they may s e t t l e down and r e s t , w h ile they are s t i l l r e l a t i v e l y young; such a home, he argues, would prevent being b r u t a l i z e d nervous wrecks a t some p o i n t i n the f u t u r e . 110 Que j e v o u d r a i s m ' e t a b l i r de f a c o n a a v o i r c h e z - m o i ! M a i s s ' i l f a u t f a i r e f o r t u n e a v a n t — o n s e r a c o m p l e t e m e n t n e v r o s e au moment d ' e n t r e r dans ce r e p o s , e t c e l a e s t p i r e que 1 ' e t a t a c t u e l ou nous pouvons e n c o r e s u p p o r t e r t o u s l e s b r u i t s . M a i s s o y o n s s a g e s p o u r s a v o i r que nous a b r u t i s s o n s t o u t de meme. (532) T h i s v i s i o n o f t h e q u i e t r e s t f u l l n e s s o f a f i x e d home i s t h e n com-p a r e d t o , "en l o g e a n t c h e z l e l o g e u r q u i meme en p a y a n t ne p r o c u r e pas un l o g e m e n t ou 1'on e s t c h e z s o i " . I n t h i s l e t t e r V i n c e n t a l s o e x p l a i n s t h a t a permanent home p r o v i d e s , " t r a n q u i l i t e " , and i n l e t t e r 540, ( c . 22 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , he e x p l a i n s t h a t t h e Y e l l o w House has g i v e n h i m " l a g r a n d e t r a n q u i l i t e " , b e c a u s e i t a l l o w s him t o work t o e s t a b l i s h a s t u d i o t h a t w i l l c o n t i n u e i n t o t h e f u t u r e . In l e t t e r 534, (9 September, 1888), i n w h i c h t h e n i g h t c a f e ' i s d e s c r i b e d as a p l a c e where ,"1'on p e u t s e r r u i n e r , J d e v i n e r f o u , commettre des c r i m e s " , t h e beds c h o s e n f o r t h e Y e l l o w House a r e d e s c r i b e d as g i v i n g , "un a s p e c t de s o l i d i t e , de d u r e e , de cal m e " , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t V i n c e n t i n t e n d e d t h e f u r n i t u r e o f t h e house t o r e i n f o r c e t h e q u i e t r e s t f u l l n e s s t h a t t h e Y e l l o w House i s t o p r o v i d e . The N i g h t C a f e , F.463, t h e n r w i t h i t s h a r s h , u n b a l a n c e d and u n r e s t f u l c o l o u r j u x t a p o s i t i o n s d e p i c t s n o t o n l y a p l a c e where one c a n r u i n o n e s e l f , go mad and commit a c r i m e , " l ' o n p e u t se 319 r u i n e r , d e v i n e r f o u , commettre des c r i m e s " , b u t more s p e c i f i c a l l y , t h e e n v i r o n m e n t i n w h i c h a r t i s t s l i k e V i n c e n t and G a u g u i n have been 3 f o r c e d t o l i v e l i k e madmen and c r i m i n a l s , "des f o u s on m a l f a i t e u r s " . T h a t M o n t i c e l l i , whose work i n t h e s o u t h V i n c e n t f e e l s he i s c o n -t i n u i n g , i s d e s c r i b e d by V i n c e n t i n l e t t e r 542, (25 o r 26 September, I l l 1888) , as having d i e d , "avachis sur l e s t a b l e s des cafe's de l a C a n n e b i e r e " , r e i n f o r c e s the. image of the n i g h t cafe as the d e s t r u c -t i v e environment i n which a r t i s t s are f o r c e d to l i v e . As The Night Cafe, F.463, i s p a i n t e d o n l y a few days p r i o r to V i n c e n t ' s move 321 i n t o the Yellow House, i t seems l i k e l y t h a t t h i s canvas sum-marizes the homelessness and l a c k of peace and t r a n q u i l i t y t h a t the Yellow House as a s t u d i o i n the south and refuge f o r a r t i s t s i s designed to a l l e v i a t e . The Poet's Garden, F.468, and F.1465 In l e t t e r 537, (16 or 17 September, 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s a s i z e 30 canvas t h a t he has p a i n t e d i n the p r e c e d i n g week, ...un c o i n de j a r d i n avec un arbre p l e u r e r , de l'herbe, des buissons t a i l l e s en boule de cedre, un buisson de l a u r i e r - r o s e . . . . i l y a sur l e t o u t un c i e l c i t r o n n e , e t e n s u i t e l e s c o u l e u r s ont des r i c h e s s e s e t des intensites.d'automne. E n s u i t e , c ' e s t b i e n davantage en p l e i n e pate, simple e t g r a s s e . (537) T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n corresponds to the canvas of a park garden, F.46 8, (Plate The s u b j e c t of t h i s canvas i s a t r i a n g u l a r area of grass t h a t opens out toward the viewer and which i s rimmed i n the background of the composition w i t h c o n i f e r o u s and deciduous shrubs and t r e e s o f v a r i o u s shapes and s i z e s . In the l e f t middle ground, se t i n f r o n t of t h i s mass o f growth, i s a s i n g l e round c l i p p e d cedar shrub. A weeping w i l l o w t r e e , s i m i l a r l y s e t i n f r o n t of the t r e e s behind,stands i n the r i g h t middle ground. The placement of these t r e e s e f f e c t i v e l y leads the eye i n t o the c e n t r e of the com-p o s i t i o n and d e f i n e s a walkable space behind and around these s o l i t a r y t r e e s . The c o l o u r s i n t h i s composition are based on 112 y e l l o w and green. The sky i s predominantly c i t r o n y e l l o w v a r i n g from an i n t e n s e b r i g h t y e l l o w over the t r e e tops to a greener y e l l o w a t the top of the canvas. A p a t t e r n of h o r i z o n t a l brush-s t r o k e s works the very t h i c k impasto of t h i s c o l o u r a r e a . The l a r g e area o f green lawn below i s d e f i n e d by v e r t i c a l b r u s h s t r o k e s i n an e q u a l l y t h i c k impasto. T h i s c o l o u r area i s more v a r i e d — brown and orange v e r t i c a l s t r o k e s i n the foreground imply the shade of some t r e e o u t s i d e the composition, and i n the middle ground y e l l o w v e r t i c a l s t r o k e s are worked i n w i t h the b r i g h t green. Over the e n t i r e lawn area s m a l l touches of t h i c k pigment i n yellow, l i l a c , and green, imply the growth of f l o w e r s , or p o s s i b l y the e f f e c t of s u n l i g h t . The t r e e s and shrubs are rendered by s m a l l d i r e c t i o n a l i z e d b r u s h s t r o k e s , again i n a very t h i c k impasto. Green, brown and b l a c k d e s c r i b e the c o n i f e r s , and g o l d s , greens, and oranges are used f o r the deciduous shrubs and t r e e s . The f l o w e r i n g oleander stands out amidst these c o l o u r s because o f b r i g h t green f o i l a g e and t h i c k l y impastoed pink and white f l o w e r s . Both the cedar shrub and weeping w i l l o w t r e e are rendered i n green and h i g h -l i g h t e d w i t h brown, orange, and b l a c k . In l e t t e r 541, (c. 23 or 24 September, 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s a canvas t h a t he i n d i c a t e s i s to be a pendant to the f i r s t park garden, F. 4 6 8 . 3 2 2 A p a r t i r de 7 heures du matin, j ' e t a i s a s s i s devant...un b u i s s o n de cedre ou de cypres en boule, p l a n t e dans 1 1 h e r b e . . . . D 1 a i l l e u r s c i - i n c l u s un c r o q u i s de ma t o i l e , t o u j o u r s un 30 c a r r e . Le b u i s s o n e s t v e r t , un peu bronze' e t v a r i e . L'Herbe e s t e s t t r e s , t r e s , v e r t e , du Ver6nese c i t r o n n e , l e c i e l e s t t r e s t r e s b l e u . La rangee de buissons dans l e fond sont tous de l a u r i e r s - r o s e s , fous f u r i e u x , l e s 113 sacr-as plantes f l e u r i s s e n t d'une facon que certes e l l e s pourraient attraper une ataxie locomotrice. E l l e s sont chargees de f l e u r s fraiches et puis de tas de f l e u r s fanees, leur verdure egalement se renouvelle par de vigoureux jets nouveaux inepuisables en apparence. Un funebre cypres tout noir se dresse la-dessus et quelques figurines colorees se baladent sur un sentier rose. Cela f a i t pendant a une autre t o i l e de 30 due meme endroit, seulement d'un tout autre point de vue, ou tout le j a r d i n est colore de verts tres d i f f e r e n t s sous un c i e l jaune c i t r o n pale. (5410 323 While t h i s painted study has either been l o s t or destroyed, a sketch i n l e t t e r 533B, (4 October, 1888), to Eugene Boch, that accompanies a b r i e f description of t h i s subject, gives some i n d i -cation of the composition of t h i s canvas, Un boisson de cypres ou de cedre en boule, d'un vert b o u t e i l l e . Dans l e gazon vert citronne. Derriere une rangee de l a u r i e r s —roses et 2 fi g u r i n e s . Un c i e l bleu de cobalt cru. Vous voyez que c'est encore bien plus simple qu'auparavant. (553b) The sketch included i n the l e t t e r to Boch corresponds to the drawing F.1465, (Plate 5 ), which i s probably the enclosed 324 drawing referred to i n l e t t e r 541, (C. 23 or 24 September, 1888). The view i n t h i s park garden (based on the drawing, F.1465), i s focused on the same round clipped shrub found i n F.468. In t h i s composition however, the round shrub occupies the l e f t foreground of the park grass. Flowering oleanders stand i n a row behind t h i s shrub and a pathway that runs diagonally from r i g h t to centre across the composition i s bordered by another longer row of flowering trees. Two female figures with parasols walk along t h i s path. 114 The c l o s e l y woven h o r i z o n t a l p a t t e r n o f pen s t r o k e s u s e d t o d e n o t e t h e s k y i n t h e d r a w i n g , F.1465, was p r o b a b l y i n t e n d e d t o s u g g e s t t h e t h i c k i m p a s t o u s e d t o r e n d e r t h e " c i e l b l e u de 325 c o b a l t c r u " i n t h e s i z e 30 c a n v a s : o f t h i s s u b j e c t , as V i n c e n t ' s c o n t i n u e d u s e o f a t h i c k p i g m e n t i s r e m a r k e d upon i n t h e two l e t t e r s t h a t d e s c r i b e t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n . I n l e t t e r 541, ( c . 23 o r 24 September, 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s h i s u s e o f a t h i c k i m p a s t o i n t h e c a n v a s r e p r e s e n t e d by F.1465, and r e l a t e s t h i s work t o i t s p e n d a n t , F.468. Ce t a b l e a u - c i e n c o r e f o r t empate comme s o n p e n d a n t a c i e l j a u n e . (541) L a t e r i n t h i s same l e t t e r he a d d s , L e s e t u d e s a c t u e l l e s s o n t r e e l e r a e n t d'..une s e u l e coule'e de p a t e . L a t o u c h e n ' e s t p a s d i v i s e e b e a u c o u p e t l e s t o n s s o n t s o u v e n t rompus, e t e n f i n i n v o l o n t a i r e m e n t j e s u i s o b l i g e d'y empater a l a M o n t i c e l l i . (541) To Boch, i n l e t t e r 553b, (4 O c t o b e r , 1888), V i n c e n t a l s o e m p h a s i z e s h i s u s e o f a t h i c k i m p a s t o i n t h e c a n v a s r e p r e s e n t e d by F.146 5. Le j a r d i n aux l a u r i e r - r o s e s e t au b u i s s o n en b o u l e , e s t empate comme de l a b a r b o t i n e . (553b) The d e t a i l o f d a s h e s and d o t s a p p l i e d t o t h e lawn a r o u n d t h e c y p r e s s s h r u b i n t h e d r a w i n g F.1465, f u r t h e r s u g g e s t s t h a t i n t h e p a i n t e d c a n v a s t h e r e was an e f f e c t s i m i l a r t o t h a t i n t h e p;arK«F garden,- F.46 8, where an i m p a s t o e d and s o l i d hued s k y i s worked i n b r o a d h o r i z o n t a l b r u s h s t r o k e s and c o n t r a s t s w i t h t h e g r a s s y a r e a b e l o w t h a t i s d e f i n e d by a t h i c k i m p a s t o w orked w i t h v e r t i c a l s t r o k e s o v e r w h i c h i s a p p l i e d s m a l l t o u c h e s o f t h i c k p i g m e n t i n -115 d i c a t i n g d e t a i l s o f g r a s s and f l o w e r s . T h a t V i n c e n t c o n s i d e r e d t h e s e two c a n v a s e s as p e n d a n t s must have depended upon t h i s s i m i l a r r e n d e r i n g o f c o m p o s i t i o n a l a r e a s by means o f a t h i c k i m p a s t o , as much as by t h e s i m i l a r i t y o f s u b j e c t m a t t e r . B o t h s e r v e t o e m p h a s i z e what must have b e e n an a l m o s t o p p o s i t e u s e o f c o l o u r i n t h e two c a n v a s e s . I n F . 4 6 8 , an i n t e n s e c i t r o n y e l l o w s k y i s p a i r e d w i t h a g r e e n l a w n. I n V i n c e n t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e 326 c o l o u r s i n t h e p e n d a n t , r e p r e s e n t e d by F . 1 4 6 5 , a c o b a l t b l u e s k y i s j u x t a p o s e d w i t h a c i t r o n y e l l o w lawn. T h e s e two p e n d a n t c a n v a s e s had a s p e c i a l meaning f o r V i n c e n t . I n two l e t t e r s , V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t t h i s c o r n e r o f t h e p a r k e v o k e s f o r him an image o f R e n a i s s a n c e p o e t s and a r t i s t s . I n l e t t e r 539, (18 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t w r i t e s . J ' a i l u i l y a q u e l q u e temps un a r t i c l e s u r l e D a n t e , P e t r a r q u e , B o c c a c e , G i o t t o , B o t t i c e l l i , mon d i e u comme c e l a m'a f a i t de 1 ' i m p r e s s i o n en l i s a n t l e s l e t t r e s de c e s g e n s - l a . Or P e t r a r q u e e t a i t i c i t o u t p r e s a A v i g n o n , e t j e v o i s l e s memes cypres e t l a u r i e r s - r o s e s . J ' a i c h e r c h e a m e t t r e q u e l q u e c h o s e de c e l a d ans un des j a r d i n s p e i n t en p l e i n e p a t e , j a u n e c i t r o n e t v e r t c i t r o n . (539) The r e f e r e n c e t o t h e c i t r o n - y e l l o w and c i t r o n - g r e e n g a r d e n i d e n t i f i e s V i n c e n t ' s image w i t h t h e c a n v a s , F..468. I n l e t t e r 5 4 1 , ( c . 23 o r 24 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , w h i l e d e s c r i b i n g t h e p e n d a n t t o t h i s c a n v a s r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e d r a w i n g , F . 1 4 6 5 , V i n c e n t w r i t e s , M a i s n ' e s t - c e p a s v r a i , que ce j a r d i n a un d r o l e de s t y l e , q u i f a i t qu'on p e u t f o r t b i e n se r e p r e ' s e n t e r l e s p o e t e s de l a r e n a i -s s a n c e : l e Da n t e , P e t r a r q u e , B o c c a c e , se b a l a d a n t dans c e s b u i s s o n s s u r l ' h e r b e f l e u r i e . (541) 116 The image of Renaissance poets s t r o l l i n g through the park landscape t h a t V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s t o Theo, becomes an i n t e g r a l and s i g n i f i c a n t aspect of the two pendant canvases, t r a n s f o r m i n g them from park gardens to The Poet's Garden, F.468, f o l l o w i n g the r e c e i p t of a l e t t e r from Gauguin i n Pont Aven t h a t d e s c r i b e s a * 327 s e l f p o r t r a i t , (Les M i s e r a b l e s , WS. 239), he has p a i n t e d a t 32 8 V i n c e n t ' s r e q u e s t . In l e t t e r G10, (September, 1888), Gauguin w r i t e s , Je me sens l e b e s o i n d ' e x p l i q u e r ce que j ' a i v o u l i r f a i r e non pas que vous ne soyez apte a l e d e v i n e r t o u t s e u l mais parceque j e ne c r o i s pas y e t r e parvenu dans mon oeuvre. Le masque de b a n d i t mal vetu e t p u i s s a n t comme Jean V a l j e a n q u i a sa noblesse e t sa douceur i n t e r i e u r e . . . e t que l a s o c i e t e opprime, a mis hors l a l o i , c ' e s t 1'image d'un i m p r e s s i o n i s t e aujourd'hui....329 (G10) V i n c e n t was deeply a f f e c t e d by Gauguin's p e s s i m i s t i c image of h i m s e l f as the misunderstood o u t c a s t Jean v a l Jean, who i s seen "3 3 0 by s o c i e t y as a c r i m i n a l . In l e t t e r 544, (c. 29 September, 1888), to Theo, V i n c e n t encloses Gauguin's l e t t e r and asks h i s b r o t h e r to save i t because of i t s importance, adding t h a t Gauguin's d e s c r i p -331 t i o n has moved him to the depths of h i s s o u l . In l e t t e r 545, (7 October, 1888), V i n c e n t announces the r e c e i p t of Gauguin's f 3 32 S e l f P o r t r a i t : Les M i s e r a b l e s , and e x p l a i n s t h a t i n l i g h t o f 333 Gauguin's w r i t t e n e x p l a n a t i o n of t h i s canvas, he sees t h i s s e l f p o r t r a i t as i n d i c a t i v e o f the i l l n e s s and d e p r e s s i o n Gauguin 334 was undergoing i n P o i n t Aven. Maintenant j e v i e n s de re£evoir l e p o r t r a i t de Gauguin par l u i meme.... 117 C'est ce q u ' i l d i t dans l a l e t t r e e t c e l a me f a i t decidement avant t o u t l ' e f f e t de r e p r e s e n t e r un p r i s o n n i e r . Pas un ombre de gaiete'. Ce nest pas l e moins du monde de l a c h a i r , mais hardiment ou pent mettre c e l a sur l e compte de sa volonte' de f a i r e une chose melancolique, l a c h a i r dans l e s ombres e s t lugubrement b l e u i e . (545) V i n c e n t ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the S e l f P o r t r a i t : Les M i s e r a b l e s , as a melancholy statement of the a r t i s t ' s p l i g h t leads him to i n s i s t t h a t Gauguin must not continue i n h i s present s i t u a t i o n , t h a t , 33 5 " i l d o i t se c o n s o l e r " . T h i s concern f o r Gauguin's s t a t e of mind r e i n f o r c e s V i n c e n t ' s own f e e l i n g t h a t he must work toward a l l e v i a t i n g the p v e r t y and poor l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s s u f f e r e d by o o c a r t i s t s . At the same time, V i n c e n t f e e l s c e r t a i n t h a t Gauguin's s t a t e of mind and h e a l t h w i l l improve once he comes to A r i e s . where he w i l l be able to b e n e f i t from n o u r i s h i n g food and b e a u t i f u l 337 surroundings, and the peace and t r a n q u i l i t y o f the s t u d i o t h a t 3 38 V i n c e n t wishes to e s t a b l i s h . V i n c e n t i s not so open i n e x p r e s s i n g h i s concern over Gauguin's h e a l t h and s t a t e of mind to Gauguin h i m s e l f . In l e t t e r 339 553a, (c. 29 September, 1888), w r i t t e n the same day t h a t V i n c e n t r e c e i v e s l e t t e r G10, (September, 188 8), c o n t a i n i n g the d e s c r i p t i o n of the S e l f P o r t r a i t : Les M i s e r a b l e s , 3 4 0 V i n c e n t remarks only t h a t he understands the s e l f p o r t r a i t t o be a symbol of impress-ionism i n g e n e r a l , and t h a t he looks forward to s e e i n g the p o r t r a i t i t s e l f . 3 4 1 I t i s important t h a t V i n c e n t sees Gauguin's p o r t r a i t as a symbol of impressionism. In l e t t e r 553a, (c. 29 September, 1888), as i f to pose an a l t e r n a t i v e to Gauguin's d e p r e s s i n g v i s i o n 118 of both h i s r o l e as an a r t i s t , ; and of the pr e s e n t and f u t u r e s t a t e of impressionism, V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s h i s own v i s i o n of the s t u d i o i n the south, and the r o l e Gauguin w i l l p l a y i n e f f e c t i n g a r e n -a i s s a n c e i n a r t . V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s how he and Gauguin w i l l be the p r i n c i p a l r e s i d e n t s o f the s t u d i o , and t h a t they w i l l i n s u r e 342 refuge and s h e l t e r t o a r t i s t comrades when they are i n need. V i n c e n t emphasises t h a t he wants Gauguin to share i n t h i s b e l i e f 343 they w i l l be founding a s t u d i o , t h a t w i l l l a s t i n t o the f u t u r e . As f u r t h e r encouragement, V i n c e n t asks Gauguin t o c o n s i d e r h i m s e l f the head of t h i s e n t e r p r i s e , e x p r e s s i n g the hope t h a t t h i s v i s i o n of an a s s o c i a t i o n t h a t w i l l h e lp a g e n e r a t i o n of p a i n t e r s , w i l l g i v e some c o n s o l a t i o n to Gauguin, i n h i s pr e s e n t s t a t e o f poverty 344 • and i l l n e s s . I t i s f o l l o w i n g t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the v x s i o n of the s t u d i o i n the south i n l e t t e r 553a, (c. 29 September, 1888), t h a t V i n c e n t r e l a t e s t h a t he has e s p e c i a l l y p a i n t e d a d e c o r a t i o n f o r Gauguin's bedroom c a l l e d , " l e j a r d i n de l a poete". Ces p a y s - c i ont de j a vu e t l e c u l t e de Venus _• — e s s e n t i e l l e m e n t a r t i s q u e en Grece—puis l e s poetes e t l e s a r t i s t e s de l a Renaissance. La que ces choses ont pu f l e u r i r , 1'impre-ssionisms l e peut a u s s i . Pour l a chambre ou vous l o g e r e z j ' a i b i e n expires f a i t une d e c o r a t i o n , l e j a r d i n d'un poete (dans l e s c r o q u i s qu'a Bernard i l y en a une premiere conception s i m p l i f i e e e n s u i t e ) . Le banal j a r d i n p u b l i c renferme des p l a n t e s e t buissons q u i f o n t r e v e r aux paysages o"u 1' on se represente v o l o n t i e r s B o t t i c e l l i , G i o t t o , Petrarque, l e Dante e t Boccace. Dans l a d e c o r a t i o n j ' a i cherche a demeler 1 ' e s s e n t i a l de ce q u i c o n s t i t u e l e c a r a c t e r e immuable du pays. Et j'eusse voulu peindre ce j a r d i n de t e l l e facon que 1'on p e n s e r a i t a l a f o i s au vieux poete d ' i c i (ou plutSt d'Avignon) Petrarque e t au nouveau poete d ' i c i — P a u l Gauguin. (553a) 119 The r e f e r e n c e t o an e a r l i e r s k e t c h o f t h e p o e t ' s g a r d e n s u b j e c t i n B e r n a r d ' s p o s s e s s i o n i n t h i s p a s s a g e i s t o a s k e t c h o f t h e p a r k w i t h t h e r o u n d c l i p p e d c e d a r s h r u b and t h e w e e p i n g t r e e t h a t V i n c e n t e x e c u t e d i n t h e summer o f 188 8 a f t e r a p a i n t i n g o f t h e 345 same s c e n e t h a t was s e n t t o Theo. T h i s r e f e r e n c e e n a b l e s V i n c e n t ' s d e c o r a t i o n o f a P o e t ' s G a r d e n f o r G a u g u i n ' s room t o be 346 i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e two c a n v a s e s d e s c r i b e d a b o v e , t h a t f e a t u r e t h e w e e p i n g w i l l o w t r e e and t h e r o u n d c l i p p e d c e d a r s h r u b — F . 4 6 8, and t h e l o s t c a n v a s r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e s k e t c h , F.1465. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t i n d e s c r i b i n g t h e c o r n e r o f t h e p a r k t h a t p r o v i d e d t h e s u b j e c t f o r b o t h t h e s e two s t u d i e s t o Theo, V i n c e n t e x p l a i n e d o n l y t h a t he a s s o c i a t e d t h i s s c e n e w i t h a v i s i o n o f R e n a i s s a n c e 347 p o e t s s t r o l l i n g o v e r t h e g r a s s . I n w r i t i n g t o G a u g u i n , however, i n l e t t e r 553a, ( c . 29 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , t h e image o f t h e R e n a i -s s a n c e p o e t s D a n t e , P e t r a r c h , a n d B o c a c c i o becomes f i r m l y bound up w i t h t h e p a r k s u b j e c t m a t t e r — a p r o c e s s t h a t was l i k e l y b r o u g h t a b o u t by V i n c e n t ' s w i s h t o i n s p i r e and e n c o u r a g e G a u g u i n w i t h a p o s i t i v e v i s i o n o f t h e f u t u r e o f h i s a r t , t h a t w o u l d o f f s e t h i s p e s s i m i s t i c o u t l o o k c a p s u l i z e d i n t h e S e l f P o r t r a i t : L e s M i s e ' r a b l e s . V i n c e n t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e s u b j e c t and meaning o f t h i s p o e t ' s g a r d e n d e c o r a t i o n f o r G a u g u i n ' s room i n l e t t e r 553a, ( c . 29 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , does p r e s e n t an i n s p i r i n g v i s i o n . V i n c e n t s u g g e s t s t h a t as R e n a i s s a n c e a r t i s t s and p o e t s f l o u r i s h e d i n t h e s o u t h , so t o o w i l l i m p r e s s i o n i s m and i m p r e s s i o n i s t a r t i s t s , s u c h as V i n c e n t and G a u g u i n . T h i s m etaphor r e i n f o r c e s t h e image o f 348 f o u n d i n g , "un a t e l i e r p o u r un r e n a i s s a n c e " , t h a t V i n c e n t had 120 attempted t o o u t l i n e to Gauguin i n the f i r s t p a r t of l e t t e r 553a, 349 (c. 29 September, 1888). The re n a i s s a n c e imagery i s important here. S e v e r a l times through the pre c e d i n g s p r i n g and summer, V i n c e n t had expressed h i s b e l i e f i n a coming r e b i r t h and r e v i t a l i -z a t i o n o f a r t . In l e t t e r 489, (c. 19 May, 1888), V i n c e n t w r i t e s : " I I y a dans l ' a v e n i r un a r t , e t i l d o i t e t r e s i beau, e t s i jeune, que v r a i s i actuellement nous y l a i s s o n s notre jeunesse a nous, • / 349a nous ne pouvons qu'y gagner en s e r e n i t e " . In l e t t e r 514, (29 J u l y , 188 8), V i n c e n t terms t h i s new a r t o f the f u t u r e , a r e n a i s s a n c e , and l i k e n s i t t o a green shoot s p r i n g i n g from an o l d t r e e . v. C o n s i d e r a n t . . . l e temps ou nous vivons comme une r e n a i s s a n c e v r a i e e t grande de l ' a r t , l a t r a d i t i o n vermoulue e t o f f i c i e l l e q u i e s t encore debout, mais q u i e s t impuissante e t f a i n e a n t e au fond l e s nouveaux p e i n t r e s s e u l e s , pauvres, t r a i t e s comme des f o u s . . . . Ces choses c e r t e s sont a i n s i , mais c e t a r t e t e r n e l l e m e n t e x i s t a n t , e t c e t t e r e n a i s s a n c e , ce r e j e t o n v e r t s o r t i des r a c i n e s du vie u x t r o n c coupe', ce sont des choses s i s p i r i t -u e l l e s , qu'une c e r t a i n e m e l a n c o l i e nous demeure en y songeant qu'a moins de f r a i s on a u r a i t pu f a i r e de l a v i e , au l i e u de f a i r e de l ' a r t . Tu d e v r a i s b i e n , s i tu peu, me f a i r e que l ' a r t e s t v i v a n t . . . . (514) V i n c e n t ' s concept o f the coming re n a i s s a n c e i n a r t , couched i n the imagery o f the f r e s h green s h o o t , p o i n t s to the r e b i r t h imagery t h a t i s con t a i n e d i n the two Poet's Garden canvases. In d e s c r i b i n g both F.468 and i t s pendant, re p r e s e n t e d by F.1465, i n l e t t e r s 537, (16 or 17 September, 1888), and 541, (c. 23 or 24 September, 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s the f l o w e r i n g oleanders t h a t are p a r t o f the 3 50 composition. In l e t t e r 541, (c. 23 or 24 September, 1888), t h i s oleander bush i s d e s c r i b e d as covered i n f r e s h f lowers and c o n s t a n t l y 121 renewing i t s e l f w i t h new green shoots. La rangee de buissons dans l e fond sont tous de l a u r i e r s ^ - r o s e s . . . . E l l e s sont chargees de , f l e u r s f r a i c h e s e t p u i s de t a s de f l e u r s fanees, l e u r verdure egalement se r e n o u v e l l e par de vigoureux j e t s nouveaux i n e p u i s a b l e s en apparence. (541) T h i s image of r e b i r t h i s r e i n f o r c e s by V i n c e n t ' s r e f e r e n c e t o the "cypres funebre" t h a t stands behind the f l o w e r i n g shrubs. The new growth which i s the focus of both Poet's Garden canvases i s thus able t o suggest the theme of r e b i r t h and r e n a i s s a n c e , f o r as Vi n c e n t has i n d i c a t e d i n l e t t e r 489, (c. 19 May, 1885), the a r t o f the f u t u r e w i l l be new and young, and the contemplation o f t h i s v i s i o n p r o v i d e s a sense of s e r e n i t y . T h i s imagery i s c r u c i a l t o the s t u d i o . In l e t t e r 544, (c. 29 September, 1888), V i n c e n t exp-l a i n s to Theo t h a t i f Gauguin i s made to c o n s i d e r h i m s e l f the head of the s t u d i o , then Gauguin l i k e V i n c e n t w i l l wish to make the s t u d i o a l i v i n g f o r c e . In d e s c r i b i n g the Poet's Garden d e c o r a t i o n t o Gauguin i n l e t t e r 553a, (c. 29 September, 1888), V i n c e n t l i k e n s Gauguin t o P e t r a r c h , and c a l l s him. " l e nouveau poete d ' i c i " . T h i s r e f e r e n c e r e i n f o r c e s the r e n a i s s a n c e imagery t h a t V i n c e n t wishes t o superimpose on h i s p r o j e c t f o r a s t u d i o i n the south. At the same time V i n c e n t makes use of a term t h a t a l l u d e s t o Gauguin's c u r r e n t a e s t h e t i c theory. The r e f e r e n c e t o Gauguin as the "nouveau poete d ' i c i " , i n l e t t e r 553a, (c. 29 September, 1888), echoes Gauguin's own comments on the p o e t i c a l nature o f h i s a r t . In l e t t e r G 8, (September, 1888), (acknowledged by V i n c e n t i n l e t t e r 536, (c. 11-15 September, 1888), j u s t p r i o r t o the p a i n t i n g o f 351 the f i r s t Poet's Garden, F. 468,) , Gauguin w r i t e s to V i n c e n t , 122 O u i , vous a v e z r a i s o n de v o u l o i r de l a p e i n t u r e a v e c une c o l o r a t i o n s u g g e s t i v e d'ide'es p o e t i q u e s e t e n ce s e n s j e s u i s d ' a c c o r d a v e c vous a v e c une d i f f e r e n c e , j e ne c o n n a i s pas d ' i d e e s  p o e t i q u e s . . . . J e t r o u v e t o u t p o e t i q u e e t c ' e s t dans l e c o i n s de mon c o e u r , q u i s o n t p a r f o i s m y s t e r i e u x que j ' e n t r e v o i s l a p o e s i e . L e s fo r m e s e t l e s c o u l e u r s c o n d u i t e s en h a r m o n i e s , p r o d u i s e n t d ' e l l e s mimes une p o e s i e . Sans me l a i s s e r s u r p r e n d r e p a r l e m o t i f j e r e s s e n s d e v a n t l e t a b l e a u d'un a u t r e une s e n s a t i o n q u i m'amene a un e t a t p o e t i q u e s e l o n que l e s f o r c e s i n t e l l e c t u e l l e s du p e i n t r e s s ' e n d e g a g e n t . (G8) I n a l e t t e r t o S c h u f f e n e c k e r , M . L X X I I I ( 6 O c t o b e r , 1888), G a u g u i n s p e c i f i c a l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e s h i m s e l f as a p o e t , o b s e r v i n g t h a t w h i l e h i s a r t w i l l be i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e t o some, "pour q u e l q u e s uns j e s e r a i s un p o e t e " . S i m i l a r l y , t h e emphasis g i v e n by V i n c e n t t o t h e i m a g i n a t i v e and v i s i o n a r y a s p e c t s o f t h e l a n d s c a p e i n A r i e s i n l e t t e r 553a, ( c . 29 September, 1888), i m p l i e d i n t h e o b s e r v a t i o n : " l e b a n a l j a r d i n p u b l i c r e n f e r m e des p l a n t e s e t b u i s s o n s q u i f o n t r e v e r aux p a y s a g e s ou 1'on s e r e p r e s e n t e v o l o n t i e r s B o t t i c e l l i , G i o t t o , P e t r a r q u e , l e Dante e t B o c c a c e " , may a l s o be s e e n as a d e l i b e r a t e r e s p o n s e t o G a u g u i n ' s c u r r e n t a e s t h e t i c t h a t s t r e s s e d a b s t r a c t i o n , t h e u s e o f t h e i m a g i n a t i o n , and a d v i s e d d r e a m i n g i n f r o n t o f n a t u r e . I n l e t t e r G6, ( A u g u s t , 1 8 8 8 ) , w h i c h V i n c e n t a p p e a r s t o r e c e i v e j u s t p r i o r t o t h e w r i t i n g o f l e t t e r 526, ( c . 21 A u g u s t , 1 8 8 8 ) t 3 5 2 G a u g u i n s t a t e s : " L ' a r t e s t un a b s t r a c t i o n " . T h i s maxim c o r r e s p o n d s t o a l o n g e r o b s e r v a t i o n w r i t t e n t o S c h u f f e n e c h e r i n MLXVII, ( A u g u s t , 1888), "Un c o n s e i l , ne p e i g n e z pas t r o p d " a p r e s n a t u r e . L ' a r t e s t un a b s t r a c t i o n , t i r i e z - l a de n a t u r e e t r e v a n t d e v a n t e t p e n s e z p l u s a l a c r e a t i o n q u i r e s u l t e r a . . . . " I n G a u g u i n ' s l e t t e r G9, (September, 1888), t o 123 V i n c e n t , he d e s c r i b e s a r e c e n t c a n v a s , (The V i s i o n a f t e r t h e 35 3 Sermon), 1 as t h e r e a l i z a t i o n o f a v i s i o n " n ' e x i s t e n t que dans 1 ' i m a g i n a t i o n des gens p r i e r e . . . . 4 V i n c e n t ' s d e c o r a t i o n o f t h e P o e t ' s G a r d e n f o r G a u g u i n ' s room, t h e n , emerges as a d i r e c t r e s p o n s e t o t h e S e l f P o r t r a i t : L e s M i s e r a b l e s , t h e c a n v a s G a u g u i n i n t e n d e d t o s y m b o l i z e h i s own d e p r e s s i o n and a s w e l l , t h e u n f o r t u n a t e s t a t e o f i m p r e s s i o n i s t 35 5 a r t i s t s and i m p r e s s i o n i s t a r t . To i n s p i r e G a u g u i n and t o e n c o u r a g e h i m t o come t o A r i e s , V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s i n l e t t e r 55 3a, ( c . 29 September, 1888), a d e c o r a t i o n f o r h i s room t h a t i s t o l e a d G a u g u i n t o t h i n k o f R e n a i s s a n c e p o e t s who have t h r i v e d i n t h e s o u t h , an image t h a t i m p l i e s t h a t t h e a r t o f G a u g u i n and V i n c e n t w i l l s i m i l a r l y f l o u r i s h i n t h i s l o c a l e . The l i n k made between t h e " v i e u x p o e t e d ' i c i . . . P e t r a r q u e " , and t h e , "nouveau p o e t e d ' i c i P a u l G a u g u i n " , e m p h a s i z e s t h a t G a u g u i n ' s a r t w i l l e s p e c i a l l y be b e n e f i t e d by t h e s o u t h . A c o n c e r n w i t h s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r a p p e a r s t o be a t work i n t h e two P o e t ' s G a r d e n c a n v a s e s , F.468, and t h a t r e p r e s e n t e d by F.1465. I n l e t t e r 539, (18 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , i n w h i c h t h e image 3-56 o f R e n a i s s a n c e p o e t s i s f i r s t l i n k e d t o t h e c a n v a s , F.46 8 , ; V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s h i s c o n c e r n w i t h s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r . M a i s m o i s — j e d i s f r a n c h e m e n t — j e r e v i e h s , p l u t o t a c e que j e c h e r c h a i s a v a n t de v e n i r a P a r i s , e t j e ne s a i s s i q u e l q u ' u n a v a n t moi a i t p a r l e ' de c o u l e u r s u g g e s t i v e , m a i s D e l a c r o i x e t M o n t i c e l l i t o u t en n'en a y a n t pas p a r l e , 1'ont f a i t e . / M a i s moi j e s u i s e n c o r e comme j ' e t a i s a Nuenen, l o r s q u e j ' a i f a i t un v a i n e f f o r t p o u r a p p r e n d r e l a mu s i q u e , a l o r s d e j a 124 t e l l e m e n t j e s e n t a i s l e s r a p p o r t s q u ' i l y a e n t r e n o t r e c o u l e u r e t l a musique de Wagner. (539) W h i l e t h i s p a s s a g e does n o t l i n k a c o n c e r n w i t h s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r t o t h e c a n v a s t h e P o e t ' s G a r d e n , F.468, two l a t e r r e f e r e n c e s do. I n l e t t e r 545, (7 O c t o b e r , 1 8 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t w r i t e s t h a t some o f h i s r e c e n t work i s s a l a b l e , and a d d s : " J e s a i s que c e l a f e r a du b i e n a de c e r t a i n e s gens de r e t r o u v e r l e s s u j e t s p o e t i q u e s , ' l e C i e l e t o i l e ' , ' l e s Pampres', ' l e s S i l l o n s ' , ' l e J a r d i n du p o ^ t e ' . " A g a i n i n l e t t e r 547, (8 O c t o b e r , 1 8 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t a s k s Theo t o :. recommend t h e s e same c a n v a s e s , (The S t a r r y N i g h t , F.474, The V i n e y a r d , F.475, t h e F u r r o w s , F.574, and t h e P o e t ' s G a r d e n , F.468, and F . 1 4 6 5 ) , t o a p r o s p e c t i v e b u y e r as t h e y a r e /'des p a y s a g e s • p o e t i q u e s " . The c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e s e f i v e c a n v a s e s as p o e t i c l a n d s c a p e s " d e m a n d s an a s s e s s m e n t o f V i n c e n t ' s u s e o f t h i s t e r m . V i n c e n t a p p e a r s t o have a s s o c i a t e d t h e s u g g e s t i v e u s e o f c o l o u r w i t h t h e s u g g e s t i v e p r o p e r t i e s o f p o e t r y . I n l e t t e r W9, ( c . 2 December, 1888), t h e c o l o u r s i n a r e c e n t c a n v a s , Memory o f t h e G a r d e n a t E t t e n , F.496, a r e d e s c r i b e d and t h e n l i k e n e d t o a poem. V o i l a , j e s a i s que c e l a n ' e s t p e u t - e t r e g'uere r e s e m b l a n t , m a i s , p o u r m o i , c e l a me r e n d l e c a r a c t e r e p o e t i q u e e t l e s t y l e de j a r d i n que j e l e s e n s . . . . l e c h o i x v o u l u de y l a c o u l e u r , l e v i o l e t sombre v i o l e m e n t t a c h e p a r l e c i t r o n d e s d a h l i a s , me sugge^re l a p e r s o n n a l i t e ' de l a m^re. J e ne s a i s s i t u c o m p r e n d r a s que 1'on p u i s s e d i r e de l a p o e s i e r i e n qu'en b i e n a r r a n g e a n t des c o u l e u r s , comme on p e u t d i r e d e s c h o s e s c o n s o l a n t e s en m u s i q u e . (W9) 125 The a b i l i t y of c o l o u r t o suggest " l ' i d e e s p o e t i q u e s " appear to have been a l s o d i s c u s s e d w i t h Gauguin, as a response from Gauguin i n l e t t e r G8, (September, 1888), i n d i c a t e s . Oui, vous avez r a i s o n de v o u l o i r de l a p e i n -t u r e avec une c o l o r a t i o n s u g g e s t i v e d'idees poetiques e t en ce sens j e s u i s d 1 a c c o r d avec vous avec une d i f f e r e n c e , j e ne connais pas d'idees poetiques c ' e s t un probablement un sens q u i me manque. Je trouve t o u t p o e t i q u e . . . . (G8) What i s comprised by " l ' i d e e s p o e t i q u e s " t h a t V i n c e n t sees as being conveyed by s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r emerges i n l e t t e r 531, (3 September, 18 88), t o Theo. Here V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t v a r i o u s emotions, sentiments, and f e e l i n g s may be suggested by v a r i o u s c o l o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Exprimer 1'amour de deux amoureux par un marriage de deux complementaries, l e u r melange e t l e u r s o p p o s i t i o n s , des v i b r a t i o n s mysterieuses des tons rapproches. Exprimer l a pensee d'un f r o n t par rayonnement d'un ton c l a i r sur un fond sombre. Exprimer 1'esperance par q u e l q u ' e t o i l e . L'ardeur d'un e t r e par un rayonnement de s o l e i l couchant. Ce n'est pas c e r t e s pas l a du trompe I ' o e i l r e a l i s t e mais n'est-ce pas une chose reelement e x i s t a n t e ? (531) I t seems f a i r t o presume t h a t the ":"idees poe'tiques", 3'^ 7 t h a t V i n c e n t sees c o l o u r as a b l e t o suggest, are s i m i l a r to emotions and concepts o u t l i n e d i n the passage above:"1'amour", " l a pensee", "1'esperance", " l ' a r d e u r " . V i n c e n t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the Poet's  Garden, F.468 and F.1465, the Furrows, F.574, and the V i n e y a r d , F.475, a s , " l e s s u j e t s p o e t i q u e s " i n l e t t e r 545, (7 October, 1888), and,"des paysages poetiques" i n l e t t e r 547, (8 October, 1888), i m p l i e s some concern w i t h c o l o u r t h a t conveys these, or s i m i l a r 126 e m o t i o n s o r c o n c e p t s . I n t h e P o e t ' s G a r d e n , F.46 8, t h e p r e d o m i -3 5*8 n a n t c o l o u r s a r e c i t r o n and g r e e n ; i n t h e P o e t ' s G a r d e n r e p r e s e n t e d by F.1465, t h e y a r e d e s c r i b e d as c o b a l t - b l u e and 3 59' c i t r o n . ^ I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o d i s c e r n i n t h e c a s e o f t h e s e two c a n v a s e s , p r e c i s e l y how t h e s e p a r t i c u l a r c o l o u r s a r e t o s u g g e s t t h e r e n a i s s a n c e theme, and as V i n c e n t d o e s n o t e l a b o r a t e on how c o l o u r i s t o be e x p r e s s i v e i n t h e s e two w o r k s ; i t w i l l o n l y be s u g g e s t e d h e r e t h a t t h e r i c h e x a g g e r a t e d c o l o u r s may a l l u d e t o 3 60 t h e f u t u r e a r t o f c o l o u r t h a t V i n c e n t f o r e s e e s . The t e c h n i q u e o f a t h i c k i m p a s t o u s e d t o e x p r e s s t h e c o l o u r a r e a s i n b o t h c a n v a s e s d o e s , however, t a k e on a s i g n i f i c a n c e when j u x t a p o s e d w i t h t h e r e n a i s s a n c e i m a g e r y o f t h e two c a n v a s e s . I n l e t t e r 541, ( c . 23 o r 24 September, 1888), t h i s i m p a s t o i s l i k e n e d t o M o n t i c e l l i ' s t e c h n i q u e , V i n c e n t a d d i n g t h a t he f e e l s he i s c a r r y i n g on M o n t i c e l l i ' s work: "Les e t u d e s a c t u e l l e s s o n t r e e l e m e n t d'une s e u l e c o u l e e de p a t e . . . . i n v o l o n t a i r e m e n t j e s u i s o b l i g e r d'y empater a l a M o n t i c e l l i . P a r f o i s j e c r o i s r e e l e m e n t c o n t i n u e r c e t homme-la". V i n c e n t ' s c o n c e r n w i t h c a r r y i n g on M o n t i c e l l i ' s work i s c l o s e l y bound t o h i s v i s i o n o f e s t a b l i s h i n g a s t u d i o i n t h e s o u t h w i t h G a u g u i n as he e x p l a i n s i n l e t t e r 542, (25 o r 26 September, 1888) . M o i s j ' a i e c r i t a n o t r e s o e u r e t a t o i t u t e r a p e l l e s . . . q u e j e c o n t i n u a i s M o n t i c e l l i i c i . Bon, m a i s t u v o i s a c t u e l l e m e n t , c e t a t e l i e r en q u e s t i o n , nous l e f o n d o n s . Ce que f e r a G a u g u i n , ce que moi a u s s i j e f e r a i , c e l a s e t i e n d r a a v e c c e t t e b e l l e o u e v r e de M o n t i c e l l i e t nous c h e r c h o n s a p r o u v e r aux bonnes p e r s o n n e s que M o n t i c e l l i n ' e s t pas m o r t a v a c h i s u r l e s t a b l e s d e s c a f e s de l a C a n n e b i e r e . . . m a i s que l e p e t i t bonhomme 127 v i t e n c o r e . E t a v e c nous memes l a c h o s e ne f i n i r a meme p a s , nous l a m e t t o n s en t r a i n s s u r b a s s e a s s e z s o l i d e . (542) V i n c e n t ' s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t he i s c a r r y i n g on M o n t i c e l l i ' s work . r e f e r s t o h i s c o n c e p t o f t h e s t u d i o as b o t h a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f M o n t i c e l l i ' s work i n t h e s o u t h as a c o l o r i s t , and as a r e f u g e t h a t w o u l d g u a r d a r t i s t s a g a i n s t p o v e r t y and l o n e l i n e s s t h a t M o n t i c e l l i i n h i s l a s t y e a r s f a c e d . W i t h i n t h i s c o n t e x t , v 362 V i n c e n t ' s u s e o f a t h i c k i m p a s t o , "a l a M o n t i c e l l i " , i n t h e two P o e t ' s G a r d e n c a n v a s e s , F.468, and t h a t r e p r e s e n t e d by F.1465, s u g g e s t s t h a t t h i s t e c h n i q u e , w i t h i t s a l l u s i o n t o t h e a r t i s t whose work t h e s t u d i o was t o c a r r y on, may h a v e b e e n i n t e n d e d t o r e a s s e r t t h e v i s i o n o f a r e b i r t h i n a r t t h a t t h e P o e t ' s G a r d e n c a n v a s e s were i n t e n d e d t o c o n v e y . The F u r r o w s , F.574 A l e t t e r , s k e t c h , and a w r i t t e n d e s c r i p t i o n i n l e t t e r 541a, (26 o r 27 September, 1888) , announce t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e s i z e 30 c a n v a s t h a t V i n c e n t r e f e r s t o as The P l o u g h e d F i e l d , ( l e / 36 3*' 36 4 Champ l a b o u r e ) , o r The F u r r o w s (Les S i l l o n s ) , ' F.574. ( p l a t e 6) The., s u b j e c t t b f t h i s c a n v a s i s a v i e w o f f r e s h l y p l o u g h e d f i e l d s ? t h a t r e c e d e i n t o t h e d i s t a n c e . A b o r d e r o f g r e e n t r e e s and f a r m b u i l d i n g s on t h e h o r i z o n s e p a r a t e s t h i s a r e a o f p l o u g h e d e a r t h f r o m t h e p a l e b l u e s k y and w h i t e c l o u d s a b o v e . A s m a l l f i g u r e w i t h h o r s e and p l o u g h i s b a r e l y d i s c e r n a b l e i n t h e m i d d l e l e f t o f t h e v a s t a r e a o f brown e a r t h . 128 The deliberate focus on a large expanse of northing but -r 365 freshly turned over earth seems a strange and bland subject. To render t h i s f i e l d , however, Vincent uses a thick impasto and a p a r t i c u l a r l y dynamic brushwork that works soft pastel t i n t s into the various pale browns. The r e s u l t i s that Vincent's brushwork suggests the i n d i v i d u a l clods of earth,and as well, mixes together various t i n t s on the canvas giving subtle nuances of colour to the various parts of the f i e l d . In the immediate foreground, the furrows that cut diagonally across the canvas are rendered with large comma-like brushstrokes, and a muted yellow-brown accents the pale brown and green strokes that de-lineate the i n d i v i d u a l lumps of earth. The clods of earth i n the two large ploughed f i e l d s that recede into the distance toward the horizon, are indicated by broad and t h i c k l y impastoed horizontal or curved brushstokes i n muted greens or browns. In th i s middle ground area, these colours are mixed together by the impastoed brushwork, emerging sometimes to highlight the ridge of brushstrokes or becoming mixed with another colour of the f i e l d to produce a soft nuance. Indeed th i s sea of ploughed earth i s set i n motion by the dizzying e f f e c t of the impasto.as the pigment ridges that are created suggest a wave-like motion that i s amplified by the many colour nuances. The pale blue sky with white clouds above t h i s f i e l d reinforces t h i s e f f e c t as both sky and clouds are rendered i n thick pigment and comma-like brushwork. The r e s u l t i s that the entire canvas surface, although rendered i n soft pastel colours, pulsates and vibrates because of the textured impasto surface. 129 In l e t t e r 541a, (26 or 27 September, 1888), Vincent describes the colour i n t h i s canvas simply. Un c i e l bleu avec nuages blancs. Un immense t e r r a i n d'un l i l a s cendre, des s i l l o n s , des mottes innombrables, 1'horizon de c o l l i n e s bleues et de buissons verts avec p e t i t s mas a t u i l e s orangees. (541a) In l e t t e r 541, (c. 23 or 24 September, 1888), that follows t h i s l e t t e r , Vincent speaks more e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y about the colour effects i n t h i s canvas. M i l l i e t e t a i t aujourd'hui content de ce qui je f a i s , mais parce que les mottes de' terre sont doux de couleur comme un paire de sabots, cela ne l e choquait pas, avec le c i e l myosotis a flocons de nuages blancs. (541a) 36 The reference here to a soft colour l i k e "une paire de sabots".-, to describe the muted browns i n the canvas, The Furrows, F.574, r e c a l l s Vincent's use of a s i m i l a r phrase i n Nuenen in 1885, "son paysan semble peint avec l a terre q u ' i l ensemence", to describe earth colours formed from an admixture of complementar-•367 . . l e s . ." It was pointed out i n the chapter on Vincent's use of colour at Nuenen that Vincent f e l t that the grays, browns, and neutral colours formed i n t h i s way were more a l i v e than those taken straight from the tube, and because of t h i s , best able to express the l i v i n g q uality of the earth, and the peasants 368 whose l i v e s were so cl o s e l y bound to labours on the s o i l . -Vincent's continued concern with the expressive p o t e n t i a l of various complementary relationships has been outlined i n the previous analysis of the i n d i v i d u a l canvases of the decoration. 130 T h i s concern, and as w e l l V i n c e n t ' s o b s e r v a t i o n i n l e t t e r 539, (18 September, 18 88), t h a t he i s concerned w i t h s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r and r e t u r n i n g to the concepts u n d e r l y i n g the c o l o u r experiments 370 made i n Nuenen, suggests t h a t the use of the s o f t browns and n e u t r a l c o l o u r s used i n The Furrows, F. 574, which i n f a c t appear to be broken c o l o u r s produced by v a r i e d admixtures o f comple-371 mentaries, i s probably, t i e d to V i n c e n t ' s wish to express the brown e a r t h as a v i t a l and l i v i n g substance. The above i n t e r p r e t a t i o n accounts f o r the d e s c r i p t i o n s of The Furrows, F. 574, as one of the " s u j e t s p o e t i q u e s " , i n l e t t e r 545, (7 October, 1888), and one of the "paysages pbe'tiques" i n l e t t e r 547, (8 October, 1888), as c o l o u r here conveys a p a r t i c u l a r concept. The s i g n i f i c a n c e o f c o l o u r and technique i n t h i s canvas, and the "idee poetique" they are to convey may be f u r t h e r ampli-f i e d by an examination of V i n c e n t ' s concerns a t the time t h i s canvas was p a i n t e d . In l e t t e r 543, (c. 28 September, 1888), V i n c e n t remarks t h a t he f e e l s c e r t a i n Theo w i l l l i k e h i s two r e c e n t canvases, The Furrows, F. 574, and The S t a r r y N i g h t , F. 474, because, " c e l a e s t p l u s calme que d'autre t o i l e s " , adding t h a t he f e e l s people w i l l take to h i s work, " s i l a technique c o n t i n u a i t a e t r e p l u s harmonieuse", and t h a t he aims a t a brushwork, "se t i e n n e n t e t s ' e n l a c e n t b i e n avec sentiment, comme une musique jouee avec emotion". Two l e t t e r s w r i t t e n i n t h i s p e r i o d appear to provide the context f o r V i n c e n t ' s o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t h i s canvas of the ploughed f i e l d has a calmness or q u i e t , and t h a t he wishes h i s technique t o impart a c e r t a i n harmony or m u s i c a l q u a l i t y . In l e t t e r 542, (25 or 26 September, 1888), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t 131 he has r e a d an a r t i c l e on T o l s t o i . I n t h i s l e t t e r V i n c e n t i n d i -c a t e s t h a t he u n d e r s t a n d s T o l s t o i ' s p h i l o s o p h y and r e l i g i o n as b a s e d on t h e c o n c e p t o f man's l i f e as c a r r i e d on by h u m a n i t y — — "mais 1'homme mo r t , e t b i e n m o r t , r e s t e t o u j o u r s l ' h u m a n i t e v i v a n t e " . I n l e t t e r 543, ( c . 28 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , T o l s t o i ' s v i e w o f man's r e s u r r e c t i o n t h r o u g h h u m a n i t y i s r e f e r r e d t o a g a i n . I I p a r a i t ne b e a u c o u p c r o i r e a une r e s u r r -e c t i o n s o i t du c o r p s s o i t de l'ame. • • • ^ E t ^ s ' i l ne c r o i t p a s 'a l a r e s u r r e c t i o n , i l p a r a i t c r o i r e a 1 ' e q u i v a l e n t — l a d u r e e de l a v i e — l a marche de 1'humanite—1'homme e t 1 ' o e u v r e c o n t i n u e e s i n f a i l l i b l e m e n t p r e s q u e p a r l'hum-a n i t e de l a g e n e r a t i o n a v e n i r . (543) V i n c e n t a l s o n o t e s i n t h i s l e t t e r t h a t T o l s t o i b e l i e v e s i n p e a c e -f u l r e v o l u t i o n c a u s e d , " p a r l a l e b e s o i n d'amour e t de r e l i g i o s i t e q u i d o i t p a r r e a c t i o n au s c e p t i c i a m e e t de l a s o u f f r a n c e d e s e s -p e r e e e t d e s e s p e r a n t e se m a n i f e s t e r dans l e s g e n s " . As p a r t o f T o l s t o i ' s e f f o r t t o b r i n g a b o u t a p e a c e f u l r e v o l u t i o n , V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s how T o l s t o i r e t u r n e d t o t h e l a n d : "Lui-meme ge n t i l h o m m e s ' e s t f a i t o u v r i e r , s a i t f a i r e des b o t t e s , s a i t r e p a r e r l e s p o e l e s , s a i t mener l a c h a r r u e e t b e c h e r l a t e r r e . " T h i s image o f T o l s t o i as ploughman and l a b o u r e r o f t h e e a r t h seems t o u n d e r l y V i n c e n t ' s o b s e r v a t i o n s i n l e t t e r 542, (25 o r 26 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , t h a t " i l nous f a u t r e v e n i r a l a n a t u r e m a l g r e n o t r e e d u c a t i o n e t n o t r e t r a v a i l . . . . " V i n c e n t c l e a r l y f i n d s T o l s t o i ' s v i s i o n o f l o v e and work on e a r t h , and h i s v i s i o n o f man's work c a r r i e d on by t h e c o n t i n u u m o f h u m a n i t y , a c o m f o r t i n g one. I n l e t t e r 542, (25 o r 26 September, 1888), he w r i t e s o f T o l s t o i ' s p h i l o s o p h y , 132 . . . j e c r o i s que s a r e l i g i o n ne d o i t pas e t r e c r u e l l e e t augmenter nos s o u f f r a n e e s , m a i s au c o n t r a i r e c e l a d o i t e t r e t r e s c o n s o l a n t e t d o i t i n s p i r e r de l a s e r e n i t e e t 1 ' a c t i v i t e e t l e c o u r a g e de v i v r e . . . . (542) He adds l a t e r i n t h i s same l e t t e r t h a t T o l s t o i ' s new r e l i g i o n w i l l h a v e , " l e meme e f f e t de c o n s o l e r , de r e n d r e l a v i e p o s s i b l e . . . " , as C h r i s t i a n i t y , and w i l l p r o v i d e an a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h e c y n i c i s m , s c e p t i c i s m o f modern l i f e . V i n c e n t ' s e n t h u s i a s m f o r T o l s t o i ' s b e l i e f i n a p r o m i s i n g f u t u r e f o r mankind, and i n a f u t u r e l i f e l i v e d c l o s e t o n a t u r e , p o i n t s t o h i s own need f o r a c o n s o l i n g v i s i o n . The F u r r o w s , F . 5 7 4 , w i t h i n t h i s framework, has s e v e r a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . The s u b j e c t o f t h i s c a n v a s , t h e f r e s h l y t i l l e d s o i l , i m p l i e s t h e c y c l e o f g r o w t h and s u g g e s t s man's own c l o s e n e s s t o , and harmony w i t h , n a t u r e ' s c y c l e s . The c o l o u r t h a t r e n d e r s t h e t i l l e d e a r t h r e i n f o r c e s t h e s e n s e o f harmony i m p l i e d by s u b j e c t m a t t e r . I n t e r m s o f V i n c e n t ' s p r i v a t e c o l o u r s y m b o l i s m , t h e m i x e d c o m p l e m e n t a r i e s a r e as harmo-3 7 2> ~ n i o u s as a b a l a n c e d c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r , " and i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h images o f p e a s a n t s and t h e e a r t h i m p l y t h e v i t a l b o nd between t h e two. I n l e t t e r 5 4 3 , ( c . 28 September, 1 8 8 8 ) , V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s t h e t h i c k i m p a s t o and b r u s h w o r k i n b o t h The F u r r o w s , F . 5 7 4 , and The S t a r r y N i g h t , F . 4 7 4 , as a h a r m o n i o u s t e c h n i q u e w h i c h he l i k e n s t o m u s i c . J e ne s e r a i s p a s s u r p r i s s i t u a i m e r a i s l a N u i t - s t o i l e e e t l e s Champs l a b o u r e d , c e l a e s t p l u s calme que d ' a u t r e s t o i l e s . S i l e t r a v a i l m a r c h a i t t o u j o u r s comme c e l a , j ' a u r a i s moins d 1 i n q u i e t u d e s p o u r 1 ' a r g e n t , c a r l e s gens y v i e n d r a i e n t p l u s f a c i l e m e n t s i l a t e c h n i q u e c o n t i n u a i t a e t r e p l u s h a r m o n i e u s e . 133 Mais ce sacre m i s t r a l e s t b i e n genant pour f a i r e des touches q u i se t i e n n e n t e t s 1 e n l a c e n t b i e n avec sentiment, comme une musique jouee avec emotion. ( 5 4 3 ) T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n no doubt r e f e r s t o the r y h m i c a l l y t e x t -ured p a i n t s u r f a c e i n The Furrows, F. 574, which r e i n f o r c e s the harmony of c o l o u r and s u b j e c t matter. These a s p e c t s , i n c o n j u n c t i o n with V i n c e n t ' s sense o f t r a n q u i l i t y and c o n s o l a t i o n p r o v i d e d by the image of the progress o f man i n t o f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s , no doubt account f o r V i n c e n t ' s e x p l a n a t i o n i n l e t t e r 543,(c. 28 September, 1888), t h a t Theo w i l l f i n d i n The Furrows F. 574, a g r e a t e r sense o f calm. The S t a r r y Night, F. 474. In l e t t e r 543, (c. 28 September, 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s another s i z e 30 canvas, The S t a r r y Night, F. 474, ( p l a t e 7 ) . T h i s canvas d e p i c t s two f i g u r e s , a man and a woman walking on the banks o f the Rhone i n the foreground o f the compos-i t i o n . Beyond theni/the bank of the r i v e r curves to form a small bay on the other s i d e o f which the c i t y l i g h t s of A r i e s gleam. Above i s a dark blue n i g h t sky punctuated w i t h gleaming s t a r s . A t h i c k impasto i s used throughout the can-vas. A t i g h t p a t t e r n o f s h o r t , broad h o r i z o n t a l and v e r t i c a l b r u s h s t r o k e s renders the blue o f the n i g h t sky t h a t i s p u r e s t and darkest a t the top and s i d e s o f the canvas and i s sof t e n e d to a p a l e r blue towards the lower p a r t o f the sky t h a t i s cent r e d over the town o f A r i e s . S o f t yellow-white dots o f pigment emanating p a l e y e l l o w rays punctuate t h i s impastoed 134 g r i d of h o r i z o n t a l and v e r t i c a l b r u s h s t r o k e s . The curve o f the r i v e r bank and the s i l h o u e t t e s of the b u i l d i n g s o f A r i e s p i c k up the r i c h blue of the sky z e n i t h , and impastoed areas o f y e l l o w - g o l d s i g n i f y the l i g h t s of the town. The blue of the r i v e r i s rendered i n t h i n h o r i z o n t a l b r u s h s t r o k e s o f dark blue and p a l e blue and s h o r t h o r i z o n t a l dashes of y e l l o w - / g o l d i n d i c a t e the r e f l e c t i o n of the town l i g h t s on the water s u r f a c e . The foreground area of r i v e r bank blends w i t h the blue of the sky and r i v e r as s m a l l dashes of a l i g h t b l u e - / v i o l e t pigment are a p p l i e d over the green and brown of the bank, and over the darker blue of the water s u r f a c e . The man and woman i n the foreground are rendered i n dark blue and b l a c k . In d e s c r i b i n g t h i s canvas to Theo i n l e t t e r 543, (c. 28 September, 1888),Vincent notes the v a r i o u s b l u e s , greens and v i o l e t s used to d e p i c t the b l a c k n i g h t , and emphasizes as w e l l the c o n t r a s t between the s o f t l i g h t of the s t a r s , a n d the g l a r e o f the gas l i g h t s of the town. C i - i n c l u s p e t i t c r o q u i s d'une t o i l e de 30 c a r r l e , e n f i n l e c i e l e t o i l e p e i n t l a n u i t meme sous en bee de gaz. Le c i e l e s t b l e u v e r t , 1 1eau e s t b l e u de r o i , l e s t e r r a i n s sont mauves. La v i l l e e s t bleue e t v i o l e t t e , l e gaz e s t jaune e t des r e f l e t s sont or roux e t descendent jusqu'au bronze v e r t . Sur l e champ b l e u v e r t du c i e l , l a Grand Ourse a un s c i n t i l l e m e n t v e r t e t r o s e , dont l a p a l e u r d i s c r e t e c o n t r a s t e avec 1'or b r u t a l du gaz. Deux f i g u r i n e s c o l o r e e s d'amoreux a 1'avant-/ plan.. (543) A d e s c r i p t i o n t o Bach i n l e t t e r 553b ,(4 October, 1888), s i m i l a r i l y emphasizes the r i c h c o l o u r s i n t h i s canvas and the 135 c o n t r a s t between s t a r and c i t y l i g h t . ... une £tude du Rhone, de l a v i l l e e'clairee au gaz e t se r e f l e t a n t dans l a r i v i e r e b l e u e . Avec l e c i e l e t o i l e dessus - avec l a Grand Ourse - a s c i n t i l l e m e n t rose e t v e r t sur l e champ b l e u de c o b a l t du c i e l nocturne, t a n d i s que l a lumiere de l a v i l l e e t ses r e f l e t s brutaux sont d'un o r rouge e t d'un v e r t bronze. P e i n t l a n u i t . (553b) Over the s p r i n g and summer o f 1888 V i n c e n t had s e v e r a l times i n d i c a t e d to Theo, Bernard, and W i l , t h a t he longed to p a i n t 373 the s u b j e c t o f a s t a r r y sky. Much of V i n c e n t ' s a t t r a c t i o n to t h i s s u b j e c t i s based on a p e r c e p t i o n of the r i c h and v a r i e d hues apparent a t n i g h t . In l e t t e r 499,(22 June, 1888), w r i t t e n from S a i n t e s - M a r i e s / V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s a walk a t n i g h t along the d e s e r t e d beach. Le c i e l d'un b l e u profond e t a i t t a c h e t e de nuages d'un b l e u p l u s profonde que l e b l e u fondamental d'un c o b a l t i n t e n s e , e t d'autres d'un b l e u p l u s c l a i r . . . . Dans l e fond b l e u l e s e t o i l e s s c i n t i l l a i e n t c l a i r e s , v e r d i e s , jaunes,blanches, roses p l u s c l a i r e s , diaman-tees davantage comme des p i e r r e s p r e c i e u s e s que chez nous-meme P a r i s - c ' e s t done l e cas de d i r e : o p a l e s , emeraudes,lapis, r u b i s , saphirs.'., ( 4 9 9 ) In l e t t e r W 7,(9 and 16 September) t to W i l , V i n c e n t a l s o d e s c r i b e s the s u b j e c t o f a s t a r r y sky i n terms of r i c h c o l o u r s , 374 "des v i o l e t s , des b l e u s , des v e r t s l e s p l u s i n t e n s e . " The image of s t a r s or a s t a r r y sky i s a l s o a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of man's r o l e on e a r t h i n r e l a t i o n to the p o s s i b i l i t y of h i s continued e x i s t e n c e i n some f u t u r e l i f e . For V i n c e n t , as has been p o i n t e d out a l r e a d y , t h i s concept 136 of f u t u r e l i f e i n v o l v e s not o n l y a v i s i o n of l i f e a f t e r death, but a sense of the work of humanity continued by f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s and t h e r e f o r e p r o v i d i n g a v i s i o n of the i n f i n i t e . In l e t t e r 5 0 6 , ( 0 . 16 J u l y , 1 8 8 8 ) / V i n c e n t q u e s t i o n s whether the a b i l i t y of a r t i s t s to speak to f o l l o w i n g generations through t h e i r work i s the o n l y l i f e a f t e r death and adds, Moi j e d e c l a r e ne pas en s a v o i r q u o i que ce s o i t , mais t o u j o u r s l a vue des e t o i l e s me f a i t r e v e r a u s s i simplement que me donnent a r e v e r l e s p o i n t s n o i r s repre"sentant sur l a c a r t e . . . . Pourquoi me d i s - j e , l e s p o i n t s lumineux du firmament nous s e r a i e n t - e l l e s moins a c c e s s i b l e s que l e s p o i n t s n o i r s sur l a c a r t e de France? S i nous prenons l e t r a i n pour nous rendre a Tarascon ou a Rouen, nous prenons l a mort pour a l l e r dans une e t o i l e . . . . (506) In l e t t e r 474 ,(9 A p r i l , 1888),when V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s h i s p l a n f o r , "une n u i t e t o i l e e avec du cypres ou p e u t - e t r e au dessus d'un champ de b l e mur", t h i s statement f o l l o w s immediately upon a d i s c u s s i o n of the death of Anton Mauve, and a r e f e r e n c e to the pink blossoming peach t r e e , an apparent symbol of 375 ongoxng l i f e , t h a t V i n c e n t had d e d i c a t e d to Mauve's memory. In l e t t e r B 7,(c. 28 June, 1888), V i n c e n t ' s q u e r i e : "Mais quand done f e r a i - j e l e c i e l - e ' t o i l e " , ce t a b l e a u que t o u j o u r s me preoccupe?", f o l l o w s a r e f e r e n c e t o , "des a s p i r a t i o n s vers c e t i n f i n i dout l e semeur, l a gerbe sont l e s symboles...." In September o f 1888 V i n c e n t a l s o a s s o c i a t e s s t a r s w i t h h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of f u t u r e l i f e and the i n f i n i t e . In l e t t e r 54 3, (c. 28 September, 1888), t h a t announces the s i z e 30 canvas 137 of the S t a r r y Night, F. 4 74, V i n c e n t a l s o d i s c u s s e s T o l s t o i s 1 p h i l o s o p h y o f , " l a duree de l a v i e - l a marche de 1'humanite -1'homme e t 1'oeuvre continuees i n f a i l l i b l e m e n t presque par l'humanite de l a g e n e r a t i o n a v e n i r " , and o u t l i n e s h i s own need f o r , "quelque chose de t r a n q u i l l i s a n t e t q u i nous c o n s o l a t de facon que nous c e s s i o n s de nous s e n t i r coupables ou malheureux e t que t e l s q u els nous p o u r r i o n s marcher sans nous p o u r r i o n s marcher sans nous egarer dans l a s o l i t u d e ou l e neant". That t h i s need f o r a c o n s o l i n g and meaningful v i s i o n o f l i f e verges on a d e s i r e f o r r e l i g i o n i s not missed by V i n c e n t , and a g a i n he r e l a t e s t h i s need to h i s v i s i o n of the s t a r s . F o l l o w i n g a d e s c r i p t i o n o f two r e c e n t l y completed canvases, of which the S t a r r y Night/ F. 4 74 i s one, he adds, E t c e l a me f a i t du b i e n de f a i r e du dur. C e l a n'empeche, que j ' a i un b e s o i n t e r r i b l e de - d i r a i - j e l e mot - de r e l i g i o n - a l o r s j u v a i s l a n u i t dehors pour piendre l e s e t o i l e s . . . (543) The r e l a t i o n s h i p between V i n c e n t ' s v i s i o n o f the s t a r s i n the context of s p e c u l a t i o n s on f u t u r e l i f e , the i n f i n i t e , and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p t o l i f e on e a r t h , and the a c t u a l canvas of the S t a r r y Night, F. 474, i s c l a r i f i e d i n a l e t t e r to W i l , W 8 ,(c. 26 August, 1888). V i n c e n t here asks h i s s i s t e r i f she has read any o f Walt Whitman's v e r s e , p r o v i d i n g at the same time a p r e c i s o f the poet's p h i l o s o p h y As t u d e j a l u l e s p o e s i e s americaines de Whitman .... I l v o i t dans l ' a v e n i r e t meme dans l e pr e s e n t un monde de sante, d'amour c h a r n e l l a r g e e t f r a n c - d'amite - de t r a v a i l 138 avec l e grand firmament e t o i l e ' quelque chose q'en somme on ne s a l t a p p e l e r que Dieu e t l ' e t e r n i t e remis en p l a c e au-dessus de ce monde. C e l a f a i t s o u r i r e d'abord t e l l e m e n t c ' e s t candide e t pur; c e l a f a i t r e f l e ' c h i r pour l a meme r a i s o n . (W 8) V i n c e n t understands Whitman, then, as p o s i n g a meaningful and ordered v i s i o n of l i f e : Man on e a r t h i s o c c u p i e d with work, l o v e , and f r i e n d s h i p ; god and e t e r n i t y , r e p r e s e n t e d by the s t a r r y s k i e s , are i n t h e i r r i g h t f u l p l a c e above the world. I t i s worth n o t i n g t h a t s e v e r a l o f Whitman's poems d e a l s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h an image o f a s t a r r y sky w i t h i n the context of the contemplation o f death, i m m o r t a l i t y , and e t e r n i t y - a l l concepts t h a t r e l a t e f i n a l l y to measure o f man's l i f e on e a r t h . The f o l l o w i n g poem ex c e r p t s g i v e an i n d i c a t i o n of the tenor o f t h i s imagery. On the Beach a t N i g h t Alone (1856) * • • As I watch the b r i g h t s t a r s s h i n i n g , I t h i n k a thought of the c l e f o f the u n i v e r s e s and o f the f u t u r e . A l l l i v e s and deaths, a l l of the p a s t , p r e s e n t , f u t u r e , T h i s v a s t s i m i l i t u d e spans them, and always has spann'd And s h a l l f o r e v e r span them and compactly h o l d and e n c l o s e them. 376 On the Beach at Night (1871) On the beach a t n i g h t , Stands a c h i l d w i t h her f a t h e r , Watching the e a s t , the autumn sky. Up through the darkness » » * Ascends l a r g e and calm the l o r d - s t a r J u p i t e r , And n i g h a t hand, only a very l i t t l e above, Swim the d e l i c a t e s i s t e r s the P l e i a d e s . From the beach the c h i l d h o l d i n g the hand of her f a t h e r Watching, s i l e n t l y weeps. Weep not c h i l d , The ravening clouds s h a l l . n o t be v i c t o r i o u s , They s h a l l not long possess the sky... J u p i t e r s h a l l emerge, be p a t i e n t , watch again another n i g h t , the P l e i a d e s s h a l l emerge, They are immortal, a l l those s t a r s ... The g r e a t s t a r s and the l i t t l e ones s h a l l shine out again, they endure, Something there i s Something t h a t s h a l l endure longer even than l u s t r o u s J u p i t e r * * " 377 Or the r a d i a n t s i s t e r s of the P l e i a d e s . Night on the P r a i r i e s (1860) I walk by myself - stand and look a t the s t a r s . . . Now I absorb i m m o r t a l i t y and peace I admire death and t e s t p r o p o s i t i o n s I was t h i n k i n g t h i s globe enough t i l l t h e r e sprang out so n o i s e l e s s around me myriads o f other globes. Now w h i l e g r e a t thoughts o f space and e t e r n i t y f i l l me I w i l l measure myself by them. 378 A C l e a r Midnight (1881) T h i s i s thy hour 0 S o u l , thy f r e e f l i g h t i n t o the wordless, Away from books, away from a r t , the day erased, the l e s s o n . done. Thee f u l l y f o r t h emerging, s i l e n t , g a z i n g pondering the themes thou l o v e s t b e s t , Night, s l e e p , death and the s t a r s . 3 79 140 The s i m i l a r i t y between Whitman's s t a r r y sky imagery and V i n c e n t ' s over the s p r i n g and summer, of 1888 i s :". immediately apparent. In c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the r e f e r e n c e i n W 8 , ( 0 . 26 August, 1888),to Whitman's p o s i t i v e v i s i o n o f love and work under a s t a r r y heaven, and V i n c e n t ' s own c r y f o r a c o n s o l i n g and meaningful v i s i o n of the world t h a t i s l i n k e d t o the contemplation of the s t a r s i n l e t t e r 54 3, (c. 28 September, 1888), i n which The S t a r r y Night, F. 474, i s announced, the suggestion a r i s e s t h a t t h i s canvas may i n p a r t be a r e f e r e n c e to the c o n s o l i n g v i s i o n of man t h a t Whitman p r e s e n t s . The p r o m i s i n g f u t u r e and i n t i m a t i o n o f god and i m m o r t a l i t y t h a t Whitman s i g n i f i e s i n h i s s t a r imagery, c o i n c i d e s w i t h V i n c e n t ' s own needs, and appears to become an i n t e g r a l p a r t of h i s own v i s i o n expressed i n the S t a r r y Night, F. 4 74. Even the l o v e r s i n t h i s canvas may be seen as r e l a t e d to what V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s as Whitman's concept o f , "d'amour ch a r n e l - d ' a m i t i e - d e t r a v a i l avec l e grand firmament e t o i l e ' . . . au-dessus de ce monde" 3 8 (^ I t i s p o s s i b l y due to the t r a n q u i l i z i n g and c o n s o l i n g v i s i o n t h a t i s p a r t o f V i n c e n t ' s image of two l o v e r s walking under a s t a r r y sky t h a t leads him to suggest i n l e t t e r 543, (c. 28 September, 1888) t h a t Theo w i l l f i n d a sense of q u i e t and 381 calm i n t h i s canvas, as w e l l as The Furrows, F. 574. While V i n c e n t i n d i c a t e s t h a t p a r t o f t h i s e f f e c t i s achieved by a harmonious brushwork, which i n t u r n works r i c h c o l o u r 141 harmonies, i t appears t h a t both the Starry. Night, F. 4 74, and The Furrows, F. 574, d e r i v e much of t h e i r q u i e t and calm from the harmonious view of man's e x i s t e n c e t h a t i s presented i n each. The Vin e y a r d , F. 475. In l e t t e r 544 ,(c. 29 September, 1888), i n which Gauguin's l e t t e r d e s c r i b i n g h i s S e l f P o r t r a i t : Les M i s e r a b l e s i s enclosed and d i s c u s s e d , V i n c e n t r e f e r s to a study o f v i n e y a r d s , The Vineyard, F. 475,(plate 8), and l a t e r i n the p o s t s c r i p t d e s c r i b e s t h i s r e c e n t l y completed canvas. Ah 1. mon etude des vi g n e s , j ' a i sue'' sang e t eau dessus, mais j e l ' a i , t o u j o u r s t o i l e de 30 carre'e, t o u j o u r s pour l a d e c o r a t i o n de l a maison." Les vignes que j e v i e n s de p e i n d r e , sont v e r t e s , pourpres, jaunes, a grappes v i o l e t t e s a sarments n o i r s e t orangees. A 1'horizon quelques s a u l e s g r i s b l e u , e t l e p r e s s o i r b i e n , b i e n l o i n , a t o i t rouge e t s i l h o u e t t e de v i l l e l i l a s l o i n t a i n e . Dans l a vigne des f i g u r i n e s de dames a ombrelles, rouges e t d'autres f i g u r i n e s d ' o u v r i e r s vendangeurs avec l e u r c h a r e t t e '; Un c i e l b l e u dessus e t un avant - p l a n de sab l e g r i s . (544) In l e t t e r 553a ,(c. 29 September, 1888),to Gauguin, w r i t t e n on the same day, V i n c e n t g i v e s a s i m i l a r d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s canvas, and a l s o i n d i c a t e s t h a t i s f o r the d e c o r a t i o n o f 4.1. u 382 the house. The composition of The Vineyar d , F. 4 75, i s a k i n to t h a t o f The Furrows, F. 574, i n t h a t the view i s a l a r g e 142 a r e a o f f i e l d t h a t i s b o r d e r e d by rows o f t r e e s , w i t h an e x p a n s e o f sky a b o v e . W h i l e i n t h e c a n v a s o f t h e v i n e y a r d a s i m p l e f i e l d s t r e t c h e s f a r t h e r i n t o t h e d i s t a n c e , b o t h c o m p o s i t i o n s a r e r e n d e r e d i n a t h i c k i m p a s t o t h a t g i v e s t o b o t h s k y and f i e l d b e l o w a r i c h and d e t a i l e d t e x t u r e . I n t h e f o r e g r o u n d o f t h e v i n e y a r d , t h e f o r e m o s t b u s h e s o f f o u r rows o f v i n e s a r e r e n d e r e d i n d e t a i l ; b e h i n d and b e s i d e t h e s e , rows o f v i n e s r e c e d e i n t o t h e d i s t a n c e . F i g u r e s a r e d i s c -e r n a b l e i n t h e l e f t m i d d l e g r o u n d , b e n d i n g o v e r and w a l k i n g t h r o u g h t h e v i n e s . The most p r o m i n e n t a r e two f i g u r e s o f women i n l o n g d r e s s e s , e a c h w i t h a r e d p a r a s o l . The c o l o u r s i n t h i s c a n v a s a r e r i c h and h e a v y a u t u m n a l c o l o u r s , and n o t t h e s o f t p a s t e l s o f The F u r r o w s , F. 574. The s k y above t h e v i n e s i s r e n d e r e d i n an i m p a s t o t h a t b l e n d s , w i t h s h o r t b r o a d and c u r v e d s t r o k e s , , a d a r k b l u e a t t h e t o p o f t h e c a n v a s , w i t h w h i t e a n d a y e l l o w g r e e n i n t h e sky above t h e h o r i z o n . I n t h e f o r e g r o u n d o f t h e f i e l d , l e a v e s o f t h e g r a p e v i n e s a r e r e n d e r e d i n t h i c k t o u c h e s o f d a r k g r e e n a n d g r e e n b l a c k p i g m e n t . The v i n e b r a n c h e s a r e t r a c e d i n b l a c k and o r a n g e , and s e r v e t o c l a r i f y t h e i n d i v i d u a l v i n e b u s h e s . The g r a p e c l u s t e r s a r e i n d i c a t e d by i m p a s t o e d t o u c h e s o f a d a r k v i o l e t t h a t a r e a l m o s t i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e f r o m t h e d a r k g r e e n and b l a c k o f t h e g r a p e l e a v e s . As t h e rows o f g r a p e s r e c e d e i n t o t h e d i s t a n c e , an i n t e r w o v e n s u r f a c e p a t t e r n o f g r e e n - b r o w n , l i l a c , a n d g o l d , r e p r e s e n t , t h e mass o f g r o w t h ; i n t h e f a r 143 d i s t a n c e , the rows are i n d i c a t e d by a s o l i d t h i c k l y impastoed green i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h rows o f g o l d o r brown. Except f o r the two st a n d i n g women i n the middle l e f t o f the composition t h a t c a r r y b r i g h t r e d p a r a s o l s , the f i g u r e s t h a t work i n the f i e l d , i n d i c a t e d by impastoed touches o f white, b l u e , or b l a c k , are engulfed by the t h i c k impasto o f green and g o l d . V i n c e n t has i n d i c a t e d the heavy weight o f the grape v i n e s i n h i s canvas by s e t t i n g the foremost v i n e bushes upon an area of green and gray impastoed foreground a t the bottom o f the canvas, thereby a c c e n t u a t i n g the leaves and branches t h a t bend t o , and l i e upon the ground weighted down by t h e i r heavy l o a d . Since the summer of 188 8 V i n c e n t had a n t i c i p a t e d p a i n t i n g the v i n e y a r d s . In l e t t e r 5 0 4 , ( 0 . 7 J u l y , 1888), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t as the orchards and w h e a t f i e l d s r e p r e -sent s p r i n g and summer s u b j e c t matter, so the vin e y a r d s c h a r a c t e r i z e the autumn. At the same time he i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h i s autumn moti f promises a change i n the c o l o u r s t h a t up u n t i l t h a t time have dominated h i s canvases. Les b l e d , c e l a a ete une o c c a s i o n de t r a v a i l l e r comme l e s vergeurs en f l e u r s . E t j e n ' a i que j u s t e l e temps pour me p r e -p a r e r pour l a n o u v e l l e campagne, c e l l e des v i g n e s . E t e n t r e l e s deux j e voud r a i s encore f a i r e des marines. Les vergers r e p r e s e n t a i t l e rose e t l e b l a n c , l e s b l e d l e jaune, l e s marines l e b l e u . P e u t - e t r e que maintenant j e v a i s un peu chercher des v e r t s . Or l'automne, c e l a donne tout e l a gamme de l a l y r e . (504) 144 To Boch, i n l e t t e r 553b,(4 October, 1888), w h i l e working on t h i s canvas, V i n c e n t does d e s c r i b e h i s s u b j e c t as,"un beau m o t i f de c o u l e u r " , rendered i n , "toute pourpree jaune-v e r t sous l e c e i l b l e u . " I t i s perhaps because t h i s canvas emphasizes these greens, y e l l o w greens, and p u r p l e s t h a t V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e d The Vi n e y a r d , F. 475, as a pendant /'au j a r d i n avec l e buison en boule e t l e s l a u r i e r s - r o s e s " i n l e t t e r 544 ,(c. 29 September, 1888). The garden t h a t V i n c e n t r e f e r s to here i s no doubt t h e l o s t canvas re p r e s e n t e d by the sketch F. 1465. L i k e the canvas o f the v i n e y a r d t h i s park garden i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms of greens and yel l o w s under a blue sky. As w e l l , the mass of red and pink f l o w e r -i n g oleanders d e s c r i b e d as a major aspect o f t h i s park garden suggest a comparison with the mass of p u r p l e grapes 384 i n the v i n e y a r d landscape. Both canvases a l s o f e a t u r e two women with p a r a s o l s walking i n the middle d i s t a n c e . Although V i n c e n t seems to have changed h i s mind co n c e r n i n g these two canvases as pendants, ( l e t t e r 553a, (c. 29 September, 1888), w r i t t e n to Gauguin on the same day, but a f t e r l e t t e r 544 , (c. 29 September, 1888), i s sent to Theo, d e s c r i b e s the Poet's Garden, F. 468 and F. 1465,as d e c o r a t i o n s f o r Gauguin's bedroom), the i n i t i a l j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f the v i n e y a r d w i t h the park garden study/'avec l e b u i s s o n en boule e t l e s l a u r i e r s -r o s e s " , i n l e t t e r 544 ,(c. 29 September, 1888), u n d e r l i n e s the mutual focus on the r i c h c o l o u r s o f the autumn landscape. 145 W h i l e The V i n e y a r d , F. 475, as a s u b j e c t i s n o t as e a s i l y a n a l y z e d , a s e i t h e r The F u r r o w s , F. .574, o r t h e S t a r r y N i g h t F. 474, t h e image o f l a b o u r , f r u i t f u l l n e s s , a n d t h e p r o m i s e o f r e g e n e r a t i o n w h i c h t h e s u b j e c t m a t t e r i m p l i e s may be p a r t o f t h e " i d e e s p o e t i q u e s " t h a t l e a d V i n c e n t t o i d e n t i f y t h i s c a n v a s , l i k e The P o e t ' s G a r d e n , F. 46 8 and F. 1465, The F u r r o w s , F. 574, and t h e S t a r r y N i g h t , F. 474, as one o f t h e * 385 " p a y s a g e s p o e t i q u e s " . The House,.F. 464. I n l e t t e r 543 , ( c . 28 September, 1 8 8 3 ) , V i n c e n t e n c l o s e s a s k e t c h o f , u n e t o i l e 30 c a r r e e r e p r e s e n t a n t l a m a i s o n e t s o n e n t o u r a g e s o u s un s o l i e l de s o u f f r e s o u s un c i e l de c o b a l t p u r . " T h i s c a n v a s , The House, F. 464, ( p l a t e 9 ) , c o m p r i s e s a v i e w o f V i n c e n t ' s r e n t e d h o u s e , and t h e b u i l d i n g s b e s i d e a n d b e h i n d i t . The v i e w i s t a k e n f r o m t h e h o u s e ; t h e b l o c k i n w h i c h t h e Y e l l o w House i s s i t u a t e d i s t h e r e b y p l a c e d i n t h e m i d d l e d i s t a n c e o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n . The a n g l e a t w h i c h t h e b l o c k o f b u i l d i n g s i s s e t a l l o w s t h e s t r e e t i n f r o n t o f V i n c e n t ' s h o u s e , and as w e l l t h e l o n g s t r e e t t h a t r u n s b e s i d e t h e house and w h i c h d i s a p p e a r s u n d e r two r a i l w a y b r i d g e s t h a t c u t h o r i z o n t a l l y a c r o s s t h e c o m p o s i t i o n i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d , t o be d e p i c t e d . I n t e r m s o f c o l o u r t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n may be d i v i d e d i n t o two h a l v e s . The u p p e r h a l f i s t h e r i c h c o b a l t b l u e o f t h e s k y , r e n d e r e d i n an i m p a s t o t h a t i s t e x t u r e d w i t h h o r i z o n t a l and v e r t i c a l b r u s h s t r o k e s . The lower h a l f o f t h i s composition i s dominated by the yellows and oranges t h a t d e p i c t the b u i l d i n g s and s t r e e t s . The f r o n t o f the Yellow House i s rendered i n a p a l e y e l l o w impasto, w i t h the door and window s h u t t e r s a b r i g h t green, and the window panes i n d i c a t e d i n a dark b l u e - b l a c k . The upper p a r t o f the two s t o r e y b u i l d i n g to the l e f t o f Vi n c e n t ' house t h a t f a c e s onto the same s t r e e t , i s rendered i n p a l e orange with i t s windows, c o r n i c e s , and lower s t o r e f r o n t i n d i c a t e d i n a darker orange. Behind V i n c e n t ' s house the si d e o f a t a l l e r f o u r s t o r e y b u i l d i n g i s a l s o d e p i c t e d i n these c o l o u r s , with the dark orange r o o f s e t a g a i n s t the c o b a l t blue sky. The s i d e o f the Yellow House, the f r o n t o f the f o u r s t o r e y b u i l d i n g , and those t h a t recede i n t o the d i s t a n c e beyond i t , are rendered i n a muted green-white t h a t i n d i c a t e s the shade on t h i s s i d e o f the s t r e e t . The s t r e e t s themselves t h a t run i n f r o n t o f the Yellow House, and bes i d e i t toward the two r a i l w a y b r i d g e s i n the background /are rendered i n a yellow-gray impasto over which are a p p l i e d s h o r t h o r i z o n t a l dashes o f orange. Numerous f i g u r e s are de p i c t e d i n t h i s canvas. A woman and a f i g u r e seated i n a c h a i r lounge under the pink awning o f the orange b u i l d i n g t h a t stands beside the Yellow House.facing.^. - out toward the viewer, and a man walks along the sidewalk toward them. A man woman and c h i l d walk to g e t h e r down the middle o f the s t r e e t t h a t runs beside V i n c e n t ' s house, and s e v e r a l f i g u r e s 147 are seated a t c a f e t a b l e s on an awninged t e r r a c e i n f r o n t o f the f o u r s t o r e y b u i l d i n g t h a t faces onto t h i s s t r e e t . In d e s c r i b i n g t h i s canvas t o Theo, V i n c e n t emphasized the e f f e c t o f i n t e n s e y e l l o w s u n l i g h t on these b u i l d i n g s and a l s o p o i n t e d out the l o c a t i o n o f c e r t a i n o f h i s haunts i n r e l a t i o n to the Yellow House. ... une t o i l e de 30 c a r r e e r e p r e s e n t a n t l a maison e t son entourage sous un s o l e i l de s o u f r e , sous un c i e l de c o b a l t pur. Le m o t i f e s t d'un d u r i ... Car c ' e s t t e r r i b l e , ces maisons jauhes^ dans l e s o l e i l , e t p u i s 1 1 i n c -omparable f r a i c h e u r du b l e u . Tout l e t e r r a i n e t jaune a u s s i . . . . l a maison a gauche e s t rose a v o l e t s v e r t s , c e l l e q u i e s t ombragee par un a r b r e . C'est l a l e r e s t a u r a n t ou j e v a i s d i n e r tous l e s j o u r s , mon ami l e f a c t e u r r e s t e au fond de l a rue a gauche, entre l e s deux ponts du chemin de f e r . Le cafe' de n u i t que j ' a i p e i n t , n'est pas dans l a t a b l e a u , i l e s t a gauche du r e s t a u r a n t . (543) The s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the Yellow House t o V i n c e n t i n e f f e c t i n g a s t a b l e working environment t h a t would p r o v i d e a refuge f o r other a r t i s t s , and u l t i m a t e l y c r e a t e a f i r m foundation f o r an a r t i s t i c r e n a i s s a n c e has been p o i n t e d out 386 a l r e a d y . As such the Yellow House seems an obvious sub-j e c t f o r a p a i n t e d canvas, and V i n c e n t had i n f a c t intended 387 to render t h i s s u b j e c t f o r some time. Because the Yellow House symbolized f o r V i n c e n t h i s v i s i o n of a s t u d i o i n the 388 south t h a t would e f f e c t an a s s o c i a t i o n of p a i n t e r s , a and a refuge t h a t would p r o v i d e a r t i s t s such as h i m s e l f and Gauguin wit h an a l t e r n a t i v e to the d e b i l i t a t i n g l i f e l i v e d i n h o t e l s and c a f e ' s , 3 8 ^ r e f e r e n c e s to the peace and t r a n q u i l i t y t h a t 148 the house p r o v i d e s are f r e q u e n t . In l e t t e r 532,(4 September, 1888) f o l l o w i n g a d i s c u s s i o n o f the p o s s i b i l i t y , o f Gauguin 390 not coming to A r i e s V i n c e n t . remarks.: "Que j e vo u d r a i s m ' e t a b l i r de facon a a v o i r un chez-moi.", V i n c e n t adds t h a t the Goncourt b r o t h e r s , i n buying t h e i r home, a l s o purchased " l e u r t r a n q u i l i t e , " f o r the sum o f 100,000 f r a n c s ; he and Theo he argues can aquire t r a n q u i l i t y , "aS moins de m i l l e en t a n t que d ' a v o i r un a t e l i e r dans l e m i d i ou nous p o u r r i o n s l o g e r quelqu'un." The purchase of f u r n i s h i n g s f o r the house i s d i s c u s s e d i n l e t t e r 534 ,(9 September, 1888), and i t i s e x p l a i n e d t h a t these are to have c h a r a c t e r . The beds V i n c e n t adds w i l l provide,"un aspect de s o l i d i t e , de duree, de calme...." T h i s emphasis on the calm and t r a n q u i l i t y o f the Yellow House i s r e a f f i r m e d i n l e t t e r 535,(10 September, 1888), where V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s , t h a t the v i s i o n o f the house as a h a b i t a b l e p l a c e , " c e l a continue de m'apaiser beaucoup... He adds a t a l a t e r p o i n t : "Je r e v i e n s t o u j o u r s la-dessus qu'une f o i s f i x e , on t r a v a i l l e p l u s t r a n q u i l l e m e n t . " In l e t t e r 540,(c. September, 1888), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t much of the t r a n q u i l i t y he f i n d s i n the Yellow House stems from h i s b e l i e f t h a t he i s p r e p a r i n g a s t u d i o f o r the f u t u r e and t h a t t o work b e t t e r p r e s e n t day a r t i s t s must be s e t t l e d and calm. 1 T u ne s a u r a i s c r o i r e combien c e l a me t r a n -q u i l l i s e , j ' a i t e l l e m e n t l'amour de f a i r e une maison d ' a r t i s t e . . . . La grande t r a n q u i l l i t e que me procure l a 149 maison e s t s u r t o u t c e c i que, des maintenants j e me sens t r a v a i l l e r en prenant des p r e c a u t -i o n s d'avenir, apres' moi un aut r e p e i n t u r e t r o u v e r a une a f f a i r e en t r a i n . * * * L ' a r t dans l e q u e l nous t r a v a i l l o n s , nous sentons que c e l a a un long a v e n i r , e t i l f a u t done e t r e e t a b l i comme ceux c i sont calmes e t non pas v i v r e comme l e s decadents. (540) The t r a n q u i l i t y t h a t V i n c e n t f i n d s through.the Yellow House r e c a l l s the demand f o r a consoling, and co m f o r t i n g v i s i o n o f both p r e s e n t l i f e , and the f u t u r e t h a t i s presented i n l e t t e r s 542 ,(25 or 26 September, 1888)/and 543 ,(c. 28 September, 1888),, and which has been d i s c u s s e d i n r e f e r e n c e to The Furrows, F. 574, and the S t a r r y Night, F. 474. That V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s i n l e t t e r 540 ,(c. 22 September, 1888), i n the passage quoted above,that he sees h i s work as a p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the f u t u r e , no doubt accounts f o r the s e r e n i t y the Yellow House p r o v i d e s . Indeed i n l e t t e r 538/(18 September, 1888), V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t the Yellow House, i n p r e p a r i n g the way f o r f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s o f p a i n t e r s , a f f o r d s him a view o f the i n f i n i t e , which i n t u r n allows him to work with s e r e n i t y . 'Mais mon idee s e r a i t qu'au bout du compte on eusse fonde e t l a i s s e r a i t a l a p o s t e r i t e un a t e l i e r ou p o u r r a i t v i v r e un successeur. Or s i moi j e fonde un a t e l i e r a b r i a 1'entree meme du m i d i , c e l a n'est pas s i b e t e . E t justement c e l a f a i t que nous pouvons t r a v a i l l e r sereinement. S i ce que l'o n f a i t donne sur l ' i n f i n i , s i on v o i t l e t r a v a i l a v o i r sa r a i s o n d ' e t r e e t c o n t i n u e r au - d e l a , on t r a v a i l l e p l u s sereinement. (538) 150 While V i n c e n t does not d i s c u s s the r o l e o f c o l o u r i n the canvas, The House, F. 464, (and indeed c o l o u r may not be intended t o suggest anything but a blue sky and y e l l o w b u i l d i n g s ) , i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o compare t h i s canvas w i t h .. t h a t o f the Night Cafe', F. 46 3, which V i n c e n t r e f e r s t o s e v e r a l times as e x h i b i t i n g a use o f sugg e s t i v e and e x p r e s s i v e 391 c o l o u r . As has been p o i n t e d out i n the d i s c u s s i o n o f the Night Cafe, F. 463, V i n c e n t intended, "un combat e t une a n t i t h e s e des v e r t s e t des rouges l e s p l u s d i f f e r e n t s " , 393 i n an atmosphere "de f o u r n a i s e i n f e r n a l e , de so u f r e p a l e " , to suggest the d i s q u i e t i n g environment where one c o u l d go 394 mad and commit a crime. The Yellow House t h a t i s to be the a l t e r n a t i v e t o l i v i n g i n such cafe's l i k e madmen or 395 c r i m i n a l s , and which p r o v i d e s V i n c e n t with t r a n q u i l i t y and calm, i s rendered i n terms o f the complementary p a i r , b l u e and yellow-orange. T h i s c o l o u r arrangement pres e n t s a complementary p a i r t h a t as w e l l as suggest i n g balance, r e p r e s e n t s a complementary p a i r t h a t i s , f o r V i n c e n t , p a r t i c -u l a r l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the south. In l e t t e r B 6,(c. 24 June, 1888), to Bernard V i n c e n t remarks on the c o l o u r s o f the mi d i "Pas de b l e u sans jaune e t sans orange, e t s i vous f a i t e s l e b l e u , f a i t e s done l e jaune, 1'orange a u s s i , n'est-ce pas!" At the same time, a l l complementary p a i r s harmoniously complete each o t h e r , "qui se marient, q u i se completent comme 1'homme e t l a femme se completent," as V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s to W i l i n l e t t e r W 4 f ( c . 24-28 June, 1888). Given V i n c e n t ' s 151 p e r v a s i v e c o n c e r n w i t h t h e e x p r e s s i v e p o t e n t i a l o f c o l o u r 396 r e l a t i o n s h i p s a t t h e t h i s t i m e , and h i s f i r m b e l i e f i n t h e l o g i c a l b a l a n c e o f c o m p l e m e n t a r y p a i r s , i t seems p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e harmony and b a l a n c e t h a t i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f t h e i b l u e and - y e l l o w - o r a n g e c o m b i n a t i o n i n t h e c a n v a s The House, F. 464, i s i n t e n d e d t o c o n v e y t h e t r a n q u i l i t y and p e a c e t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e V i n c e n t ' s r e s p o n s e t o h i s work f o r h i s s t u d i o and r e f u g e . The T a r a s c o n D i l l i g e n c e , F . 478a. Among t h e f o u r s i z e 30 c a n v a s e s l i s t e d i n l e t t e r 552, (13 O c t o b e r , 1888) as h a v i n g b een c o m p l e t e d i n t h e p r e c e e d i n g week i s one V i n c e n t r e l a t e s t o D a u d e t ' s n o v e l , T a r t a r i n de  T a r a s c o n . : A s - t u d e j a r e l u l e s T a r t a r i n , a h , ne l ' o u b l i e p a s ! Te r a p e l l e s - t u dans T a r t a r i n l a c o m p l a i n t e de l a v i e i l l e d i l i g e n c e de T a r a s c o n , c e t t e a d m i r a l page? Eh b i e n , j e v i e n s de l a p e i n d r e c e t t e v o i t u r e r o u g e e t v e r t e , d ans l a c o u r de 1 ' auberge. Tu v e r r a s . (552) V i n c e n t ' s c a n v a s , The T a r a s c o n D i l l i g e n c e , F. 478a, ( p l a t e 1 0 ) , d e p i c t s two s t a g e c o a c h e s i n an i n n c o u r t y a r d . The d e t a i l s and c o l o u r s o f t h e f o r e m o s t c o a c h - w h i t e w h e e l s i n t h e s u n l i g h t and y e l l o w i n t h e s h a d e , b r i g h t g r e e n hood and s e a t , a n d a b l u e g r e e n and r e d body . o u t l i n e d i n b l a c k - a r e s e t o f f a g a i n s t t h e g r a y i m p a s t o e d f o r e g r o u n d , and t h e y e l l o w w a l l o f t h e i n n b e h i n d t h e c o a c h . The s e c o n d c o a c h , w i t h b r i g h t g r e e n hood, y e l l o w w h e e l s , and b l a c k b o d y , i s a l s o s e t 152 a g a i n s t a y e l l o w mass o f bushes, and a f l a t y e l l o w w a l l . A s m a l l patch of i n t e n s e blue impastoed sky i n the upper r i g h t o f the composition i s glimpsed over the b u i l d i n g t o p s . The foremost coach has the name " s e r v i c e de Tarascon" p r i n t e d i n y e l l o w , on a red band a c r o s s i t ' s s i d e . In d e s c r i b i n g t h i s canvas i n l e t t e r 552,(13 October, 1888), V i n c e n t emphasizes the b r i g h t c o l o u r s and t h i c k impasto. Ce c r o q u i s h a t i f t'en donne l a composition, avant-plan simple de sable g r i s , fond a u s s i t r ^ s simple, m u r a i l l e s roses e t jaunes avec f e n e t r e s a p e r s i e n n e s v e r t e s , c o i n de c i e l b l e u . Les deux v o i t u r e s tre*s colore'es, v e r t , rouge, roues-jaunes, n o i r b l e u , orange. T o i l e de 30 t o u j o u r s . Les v o i t u r e s sont p e i n t a l a M o n t i c e l l i avec des empatements. (552) The r e f e r e n c e to the complaint of the Tarascon d i l i g e n c e t h a t V i n c e n t i n d i c a t e s t h i s s u b j e c t a l l u d e s , i s to a passage i n Daudet's novel, T a r t a r i n de Tarascon, t h a t r e l a t e s the adventures of the would-be hunter T a r t a r i n , who has t r a v e l l e d to n o r thern A f r i c a i n p u r s u i t of l i o n s t h a t have long disappeared from such a c i v i l i z e d a r e a. Numerous humourous adventures b e f a l l T a r t a r i n throughout the n o v e l and u n d e r l i n e the naive and innocent a t t i t u d e of t h i s c i t i z e n o f Provence. In the chapter i n which the Tarascon d i l i g e n c e appears, T a r t a r i n , t o the amusement o f the passengers, on board,enters an o l d coach dressed i n h i s l i o n h u n ting gear. As the coach bumps along, and T a r t a r i n e n v i s i o n s h i s dramatic c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h f e r o c i o u s l i o n s , he g r a d u a l l y f a l l s a s l e e p and hears the v o i c e of the coach, r u s t y with age address him. The 153 coach who used t o p l y the Tarascon t o N^nies run i n France, e x p l a i n s t h a t she re c o g n i z e s T a r t a r i n . Her creaky s p r i n g s s i g h f o r , " l e temps de l a jeunesse", when she was w e l l cared f o r and p o l i s h e d , and used t o e n c i t e p r a i s e from onlookers i n Tarascon. Now, worn out and shipped t o A l g e r i a where she 398 r u s t s away and i s m i s t r e a t e d , she laments her g l o r i o u s p a s t . That V i n c e n t l i n k s h i s canvas w i t h the complaint o f the Ta r -ascon d i l i g e n c e i n Daudet's T a r t a r i n de Tarascon a s s o c i a t e s The Tarascon D i l i g e n c e , F. 478a, with the autumnal s u b j e c t matter t h a t i s p a r t o f the d e c o r a t i o n canvases as a whole. The lament of the o l d d i l i g e n c e poses an image o f faded o l d age t h a t f o l l o w s upon y o u t h f u l g l o r y . I t should be p o i n t e d out t h a t V i n c e n t admired Daudet's conception o f T a r t a r i n and the people o f Provence as humourous, k i n d l y and f i l l e d w i t h grandiose v i s i o n s , and V i n c e n t f r e q u e n t l y 3 9 noted how T a r t a r i n captured the s p i r i t o f the people o f A r i e s . In l e t t e r 530, (1 September, 1888), a f t e r r e a d i n g L'Immortel, a n o v e l by Daudet t h a t focuses on man's f u t i l e e f f o r t s t o achieve i n a meaningless world, V i n c e n t complained, t h a t he found the n o v e l , " t r e s beau, mais b i e n peu c o n s o l a n t e , " adding t h a t he f e l t o b l i g e d , "de l i r e un l i v r e sur l a chasse a 1*elephant ou un l i v r e absolument menteur d'aventures categoriquement i m p o s s i b l e s . . . p o u r f a i r e passe l e navrement que 1'Immortel va me l a i s s e r . " He adds f u r t h e r i n l e t t e r 531, (3 September, 18 88), t h a t he p r e f e r s the v i s i o n o f l i f e rendered 154 i n T a r t a r i n , as, " i l me semble que l 1 I m m o r t e l n'est pas a u s s i beau comme c o u l e u r que T a r t a r i n , c a r c e l a me f a i t penser avec ces t a s d'observations s u b t i l e s j u s t e aux desolantes tableaux de Jean Berand, s i sees, s i f r o i d s . Or T a r t a r i n e s t s i r e e l l e m e n t grand..." T h i s statement t h a t d e s c r i b e s the T a r t a r i n n o v e l s as having a grand and c o l o u r f u l aspect, u n d e r l i n e s V i n c e n t ' s own need and p r e f e r e n c e s f o r a v i s i o n t h a t p r o v i d e s an a l t e r n a t i v e t o a concept o f e x i s t e n c e t h a t emphasizes f u t i l i t y and emptiness by means of a d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s and documentation o f everyday e x i s t e n c e , which i s l i k e n e d here t o a c a r e f u l r e n d e r i n g o f l o c a l c o l o u r . T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n r e c a l l s a comment i n l e t t e r 500,(23 June, 1888), where V i n c e n t argues t h a t l o c a l c o l o u r and a c c u r a t e drawing are not ab l e t o render r e a l i t y , 4 0 0 and a comment made i n l e t t e r 470,(18 March, 1888), where V i n c e n t observes t h a t the a r t i s t must exaggerate i n order t o c r e a t e , "une nature p l u s 401 b e l l e , p l u s simple, p l u s c o n s o l a n t e . . . . " W i t h i n t h i s c o ntext the b r i g h t and exaggerated c o l o u r s i n the Tarascon D i l i g e n c e , F. 4 78a, may be seen as a c o u n t e r p a r t t o the f i n e 402 c o l o u r o f the exaggerated v i s i o n s t h a t convey the gay and humorous c h a r a c t e r o f Provence i n Daudet's T a r t a r i n n o v e l s . I t should a l s o be noted t h a t the. r e f e r e n c e t o the Tafascc d i l i g e n c e may be seen as an a l l u s i o n t o the r o l e p l a y e d by ima g i n a t i o n . In T a r t a r i n de Tarascon, the lament o f the d i l i g e n c e i s p a r t o f T a r t a r i n ' s dream i n s p i r e d by the creaks 155 and groans of the o l d coach t r a v e l l i n g over a bumpy road. The lament a l s o s t r e s s e s the v i s i o n o f the o l d coach imagining her g l o r i o u s prime of days gone by. V i n c e n t r e f e r s to the r o l e of i m a g i n a t i o n t h a t t h i s canvas i m p l i e s i n l e t t e r 571, (17 January, 1889), w r i t t e n from the h o s p i t a l a t A r i e s , a f t e r Gauguin had l e f t the town. 1 A s - t u l o r s de ton voyage i c i pu remarquer 1'etude que j ' a i p e i n t de l a d i l i g e n c e de Tarascon, l a q u e l l e , t u s a i s , e s t mentioned dans T a r t a r i n chasseur de l i o n s . . . . Voila" ce q u i en e s t , quoique d'un autre genre, Gauguin a une b e l l e e t franche e t absolument complete i m a g i n a t i o n du M i d i . . . . (571) V i n c e n t a l s o a l l u d e s to the r o l e i m a g i n a t i o n p l a y s i n t h i s canvas i n l e t t e r 551,(10 or 11 October, 1888), where the s i z e 30 canvas f o r the d e c o r a t i o n , The Bedroom, F. 4 82, i s 403 d e s c r i b e d . V i n c e n t e x p l a i n s t h a t the canvas of h i s bedroom should not o n l y suggest s l e e p and r e s t , but l o o k i n g a t t h i s s u b j e c t , " d o i t reposer l a t e t e ou p l u t o t 1'imagination". The Bedroom, F. 482, i s then posed as a d e l i b e r a t e c o n t r a s t to the Tarascon D i l i g e n c e , F. 4 78a, and the N i g h t Cafe, F. 463. The Night Cafe, F. 46 3, i t has been argued above, i s a canvas where c o n t r a s t s of ye l l o w , green, and red are intended to 404 suggest an u n r e s t f u l and d i s q u i e t i n g environment, and as such may be seen as p l a c i n g a demand on the viewers i m a g i n a t i o n . I t would appear from t h i s r e f e r e n c e i n l e t t e r 554,(16 October, 1888),that V i n c e n t sees The Tarascon D i l i g e n c e , F. 478a, as e x h i b i t i n g s i m i l a r f e a t u r e s . While i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h i s canvas was intended t o suggest, l i k e t h a t o f the 156 n i g h t cafe, harshness or a sense o f u n r e s t , as a r e f e r e n c e to the d e c r e p i t and wasted aspects t h a t the o l d d i l i g e n c e symbolizes, i t i s more l i k e l y , however, the Tarascon D i l i g e n c e , F. 478a, and the N i g h t Cafe, F. 463, are paired, as both -are seen by V i n c e n t as canvases t h a t s t i m u l a t e the i m a g i n a t i o n by means, o f s u b j e c t matter and exaggerated and s u g g e s t i v e c o l o u r , thus p o s i n g a c o n t r a s t t o The Bedroom, F. 4 82, where, " l a vue du t a b l e a u d o i t r e p o ser l a t e t e ou p l u t o t l ' i m a g i n a t -.. __ ..405 The Autumn Gardens, F. 470, F. 566, or F. 472. Two canvases d e s c r i b e d o n l y as, " l ' a u t r e j a r d i n " , are l i s t e d as p a r t of the d e c o r a t i o n f o r the Yellow House i n l e t t e r 552,(13 October, 1888). There i s some d i f f i c u l t y i n e s t a b l i s h i n g which canvases V i n c e n t intends to comprise t h i s "autre j a r d i n " , as s e v e r a l park garden s u b j e c t s are p a i n t e d i n September and October, 18 88. The f i r s t two canvases o f the Poet's Garden may be e a s i l y i d e n t i f i e d by d e s c r i p t i o n s i n l e t t e r s 537,(16 or 17 September, 1888), and 541,(c. 23 and 24 September, 1 8 8 8 ) . 4 0 6 At l e a s t f o u r o t h e r park garden canvases are d e s c r i b e d i n the l e t t e r s p r i o r to and i n c l u d i n g l e t t e r 552,(13 October, 1888). In l e t t e r 538, (18 September, 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s h i s c u r r e n t work on the s u b j e c t o f a walk under plane t r e e s : "Dans ce moment j ' a i une autre t o i l e de 30 c a r r e e en t r a i n , de nouveau un j a r d i n ou p l u t o t une promenade sous des p l a t a n e s , avec du 157 gazon v e r t e t des buissons n o i r s de sapin-. 5" Hulsker has i d e n t i f i e d t h i s canvas w i t h The Cedar Walk, F. 4 70, ( p l a t e 407 11). T h i s canvas comprises a view of a park path t h a t curves from the foreground i n t o the c e n t r e of the composition around a c e n t r a l c i r c u l a r area of grass and t r e e s . These . t r e e s , a c o n i f e r i n the c e n t r e surrounded by deciduous t r e e s , t o gether w i t h the t r e e s on the f a r s i d e of the curved path, obscure a view of the sky. F i g u r e s of men and women s t r o l l on the path behind the c e n t r a l c i r c l e o f grass and t r e e s . The c o l o u r s i n t h i s canvas i n d i c a t e the shade i n t h i s area o f the park; t r e e s and grass are rendered predominantly i n dark greens accented w i t h v i o l e t , g o l d and r e d . The f o r e g r -ound path i s a p a l e v i o l e t h i g h l i g h t e d w i t h b r u s h s t r o k e s of gray-green and yellow-green. In l e t t e r 539 /(18 September,. 1888), V i n c e n t d e s c r i b e s how he went out to f i n i s h a park garden canvas, and then p a i n t e d another one as w e l l , which i s d e s c r i b e d as p a i n t e d without the use of green p i g m e n t . 4 ^ 8 ©e matin de bonne heure j e t ' a i d e j a e c r i t , • p u i s je s u i s a11ex .eontihuer un t a b l e a u de j a r d i n e n s o l e i l l e . P uis j e l ' a i rentre' - e t s u i s r e s s o r t i avec une t o i l e blanche e t c e l l e -l a a u s s i e s t f a i t e . " Le d e r n i e r t a b l e a u , f a i t avec l e s d e r n i e r s tubes sur l a d e r n i e r e t o i l e , un j a r d i n n a t u r e l l e m e n t v e r t , e s t p e i n t sans v e r t proprement d i t , r i e n qu'avec du b l e u de Prusse e t du jaune de chrome. (539) T h i s canvas may be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h Entrance to the P u b l i c 409 Garden, F. 566, ( p l a t e 12) a c c o r d i n g t o H u l s k e r . The composition here comprises a d i a g o n a l view of a wide path 158 t h a t opens from the centre of the composition and recedes i n t o the r i g h t middle ground. T h i s path i s bordered by fences on e i t h e r s i d e which e n c l o s e the t r e e s and shrubs of the park. A g a i n s t the fences are benches on which f i g u r e s of men and women s i t . A female f i g u r e walks down the path away from the viewer, and a man stands i n the middle o f the path i n the foreground r e a d i n g a newspaper. The c o l o u r s i n t h i s canvas are based on oranges, y e l l o w s , and greens. The c e n t r a l walk i s rendered i n a predominantly y e l l o w -brown impasto. Orange fences or gates stand on e i t h e r s i d e of the walk i n the foreground. . The f o i l a g e of