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Farmhouse in Provence by Vincent van Gogh
Farmhouse in Provence by Vincent van Gogh

Farmhouse in Provence, 1888

Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh prized the brilliant light of the south of France for its ability to wash out detail and simplify forms. Here, the artist juxtaposes pairs of complementary colors — the red and green of the plants, the woven highlights of oranges and blue in the fence, even the pink clouds that enliven the turquoise sky — to make his flattened forms shimmer with life. Everywhere you look, colors seem almost to vibrate against each other.

This was a time when scientific research was yielding a new knowledge of optics and how colors behave, breakthroughs that informed Van Gogh and the Impressionist painters’ experiments with the depicting light.

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