View of Arles, Flowering Orchards, 1889 by Vincent van Gogh
After Van Gogh's initial breakdown he was admitted to hospital, but released on 7 January and returned to painting ( a brief intense period before being hospitalized again following a paranoia attack, Gauguin had abandoned him, his brother Theo was getting married and Van Gogh's dreams of an artists' enclave had crumbled. He was alone, depressed in poor physical health and suffering from lack of nutrition, all factors that compounded his devastating mental illness. He heard voices, hallucinated and had vivid dreams of a distorted religious nature - in the present day he could have been greatly helped, but in nineteenth-century rural France his treatment in the hospital was at best sympathetic and at worst neglected.
The local people organized a petition to have Van Gogh removed to his family or locked up, and consequently, he was incarcerated in the hospital where he continued to paint, but struggled to recapture the glorious yellows and vibrant colours of the previous year. This landscape with its translucent purple haze of morning light poignantly reflects the artist's sense of isolation as his view to the fields is blocked by a symbolic grill of dark tree trunks.