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Women Picking Olives by Vincent van Gogh
Women Picking Olives by Vincent van Gogh

Women Picking Olives, 1889

Vincent van Gogh

Three women picking olives form a pyramid in the center of this painting: two on a ladder, handing olives down to a third, standing below. The curves of their upturned arms echo the undulating tree branches, which reach skyward. In fact, the entire painting seems to move and flow like a restless sea: the rusty-pink earth consists of leftward-rolling brushstrokes, while the salmon-colored paint strokes in the sky lean to the right, creating a sense of opposite motion. Van Gogh painted three versions of this picture — this, the third, the most resolved and stylized, was intended for his sister and mother.

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