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Olive Trees by Vincent van Gogh

Olive Trees, 1889

Vincent van Gogh

Although you may be able to tell at a glance that this olive orchard is by Van Gogh, it’s strikingly different from some of his other pictures in the stippled dots of light color in the sky and trees. The artist was responding to recent Pointillist compositions by his contemporaries, who were experimenting with juxtaposing colors and rendering larger forms in masses of smaller dots in order to express new discoveries in optics. Van Gogh wrote, “What I’ve done is a rather harsh and coarse realism beside their abstractions, but it will nevertheless impart a rustic note, and will smell of the soil.”

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