Vincent Van Gogh Houses at Auvers, c.1890 (Detail)

Auvers had an unassuming character that appealed to Van Gogh at this point in his life. Suitably peaceful and out of the way, it was an ideal retreat from his recent limited successes. Although he had sought critical acclaim in the early days, now that it was almost a reality, Van Gogh shied away from its consequences. As he lameted to Theo: "Success is just about the worst thing that could happen." He even went as far to ask the Dutch critic J.J. Isaacson who had spoken favorably of his work in local Dutch newspapers, to cease his written approbation. Maybe he was worried about his mental stability and the effects that too much praise may have had on it. Certainly Van Gogh shunned most forms of excitement at this time, preferring instead the gentle and relaxing life of the country in places such as this. For all the scene's wholesome rusticity, though, this is not the country as a haven of calm. On the countrary, all is wild activity, swirling with barely a straight line in sight. Perhaps it is understandable that the sky and vegetation take on organic forms, but when the cottage roof is also subjected to this treatment, the painting takes on highly symbolic connotations. The image no longer reads as a realistic depiction of nature, but as a visual indication of Van Gogh's tornemted soul.

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Houses surrounded by trees and flowers

ID#: 25020
Houses at Auvers, c.1890 (Detail)
Type: Fine-Art Print
Paper Size: 14" x 11"
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