Cypresses - by Vincent van Gogh
The asylum of Saint-Remy was situated in beautiful countryside peppered with olive, almond and cypress trees and surrounded by Van Gogh's favourite wheat field. The Alpilles mountains loomed in the distance, and several miles away was the small town of Saint-Remy that boosted a primarily agricultural community. Initially, Van Gogh was allowed to paint in the asylum garden, and he painted the view of a wheat field from his window, but later he could go out into countryside when accompanied by an asylum staff member.
There is a lyrical quality to this painting that does not reflect the artist's troubled frame of mind. His palette is bright and though strong, is less intense and strident than many of his works done at around this time. His experiments with stylization are evident, and this quality of decorative pattern manifested through his brushstrokes was one that was very evident in these paintings done at the end of his life. There is a rhythm to the brushwork that is full of short swirling strokes that are repeated through the tree, foliage and sky, and the effect is one of the great freedom