|Courtesy of www.VincentVanGogh.org|
Dr Peyron who ran the asylum in Saint-Remg wrote in his notes on Van Gogh's arrival that he was suffering from acute mania, hallucinogenic episodes and epileptic fits at irregular intervals. Theories have since been put
forward that he was schizophrenic, though this can not be proved, and it has been agreed that he may well have been epileptic, especially in light of the fact that there was a history of epilepsy in his family.
Despite the doctor's diagnosis, it seems that Van Gogh received little to no actual treatment, and the artist later complained that nothing was done, that the food was poor and the patients ignored. He was allowed to paint in the hospital's garden, and by June was able to leave the hospital, accompanied by an attendant (Jean-Francois Poulet) to paint in the surrounding fields. He was particularly taken with the local cypress trees, which he painted several times. This picture reflects his increasingly free brushstrokes that create a rhythmic sense of languid horizontal movement that is counterbalanced through the strong vertical lines of the tree and wheat shafts in the foreground.