This painting depicting a reaper in a sun-drenched wheatfield was painted in Saint-Rémy, a small village near Arles. In the wake of several mental crises, Van Gogh had decided to commit himself to the hospital there at the end
of April 1889. He was treated by Dr. Peyron, who gave him permission to continue painting.
Van Gogh worked in the garden, drew the hospital's corridors and barred windows, painted the view from his cell, and made several portraits of other patients. Occasionally, he was allowed to venture outside the hospital walls, but never alone. When he could not work outdoors he made his own variations on the paintings of Millet, Eugene Delacroix and other masters.