Landscape with Chariot, 1890 by Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh traveled to his new home in Auvers-sur-Oise in May 1890. He was to live here, on his own, but under the care of Dr Gochet, a strident republican and proponent of alternative and radical scientific theories. He had had a long association with a number of painters, and had been recommended to Van Gogh by Pissarro. Auvers itself was a rural town with a small, mostly agricultural-based community. It had a history of visiting artists, including Paul Cezanne, Jean-Baptiste Armand Guilloumin (1841-1927), Pissarro, and Édouard Manet, which might have led the townspeople to be more accepting of Van Gogh and his bohemian appearance and ways. They were also used to the eccentric Dr Gachet who was a well-known and popular local figure. Certainly there is little indication that the people themselves actively ostracized Van Gogh, and it seems his subsequent depression and suicide was begand external stimuli. It can be assumed that by the time he arrived in the small town, his vortex of self-destruction was on an inevitable path.

Landscape with Chariot was typical of his landscapes of this period with their bold, slightly unsettling perspectives and tapestry-like blocks of colour and line.