Wheat Field with a Reaper, 1889 by Van Gogh

Despite the beauty of the countryside surrounding the asylum, Van Gogh began to lose his inspiration towards the end of 1889, and dreamt of leaving and returning to the north of France. He had no stimulating company at Saint-Remy, no one to discuss and debate art with and no one with whom he made a connection. His associations with Dr. Peyron were amicable, but not close, and likewise with two of the guards, but that was the extent of his circle. Lacking subjects to paint he turned to making copies of works by Millet, returning to the peasant/labourer theme that had dominated his early career. He also made several paintings of the wheat field that appears here.

Many of these versions are almost identical and all include the huge glowing orb of the sun, which he had come to view with a religious symbolism. The overall yellow tonality of this picture, bar the strip of mountains, makes the peasant toiling in the field almost a port of the wheat itself, and similarly the lines of the figure match the fluid curves of the bending wheat shafts,