Farms near Auvers, 1890 by Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh spent the last few months of his life at Auvers-sur-Oise.Shortly after arriving at Auvers, Van Gogh wrote his sister Wil: "Here there are roofs of mossy thatch which are superb, and of which I'll certainly do something."

Van Gogh loved the 'mossy thatched roofs' which he saw near his last home at Auvers, close to Paris. A row of dilapidated farm buildings dominates this picture, made a month before the artist's death. To paint the cottages nestled into the hills around Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent selected a high point of view, recalling his enduring interest in the landscapes in Japanese prints.

Painted direct from the motif, Van Gogh transformed what he saw into something intensely personal, expressing in visual form his responses to what he saw about him. The outline of the roofs of the farm buildings and of the hills, the trunks of the trees and the outline of their foliage, are all given a dynamic bounding quality that expresses great vitality. So too does the brushwork, slashes, commas and hooks of paint. that fills the outlines. The painting appears to be unfinished.