Enclosed Field with Ploughman, 1889, by Vincent Van Gogh

Despite the beauty of the countryside surrounding the asylum, Van Gogh began to lose his inspiration towards the end of 1889, and dreamed of leaving and returning to the north of France. He had no stimulating company at Saint-Remy, no one to discuss and debate art with and no one with whom he made a connection. His associations with Dr. Peyron were amicable, but not close, and likewise with two of the guards, but that was the extent of his circle. Lacking subjects to paint he turned to making copies of works by Millet, returning to the peasant/labourer theme that had dominated his early career. He also made several paintings of the wheat field that appears here.

Many of wheat field theme paintings Van Gogh made during this time period are similar and all include the huge glowing orb of the sun, which he had come to view with a religious symbolism. The overall yellow tonality of this picture, bar the strip of mountains and wheat field, makes the peasant toiling in the field almost a part of the field itself, and similarly the lines of the figure match the fluid curves of the bending wheat field.