The Rocks, 1888 by Vincent Van Gogh

This painting of craggg rocks and a tree was mode just outside Arles and demonstrates Van Gogh's wide use of different brushstrokes to create varying textures through the canvas. His work was increasingly stylized with a linear quality that was offset through his continued exploration of the effects of colour. The boldness of his brushwork and handling of paint, often applied in great thick streaks, is part of what makes his work so identifiably his, unique and beyond classification.

Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo explaining his new developments, 'I feel that what I learned in Paris is leaving me ... and I should not be surprised if the Impressionists soon will find fault with my way of painting, which has been fertilized by the ideas of Delocroix rather than by theirs.' This is interesting because it illustrates that the artist felt himself more aligned with the Impressionists Monet, Cezanne than any other group, though he also had reservations about their work and their expression of atmosphere at what he believed was the expense of form and content.