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Houses and Figure by Vincent van Gogh
Houses and Figure by Vincent van Gogh

Houses and Figure, 1890

Vincent van Gogh

A huge yellow sun rises behind a cluster of cottages, turning the whole sky pink. Green and blue tendrils of smoke curl from the chimneys of thatched rooftops. It’s a peaceful, rural scene, yet the artist infuses it with a restless, vibrant energy. Notice, for example, that there are no straight lines in the painting; the roof lines twist and bend like dancing waves. The wisps of smoke shimmer against a sky roiling with thick white curves of paint. The bushy hedge and the grass through which the field hand walks seem to buck and roll like wind-tossed water.

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The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
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