Arles, View from the Wheat Fields Vincent van Gogh Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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"Arles, View from the Wheat Fields" is another name for "Wheat Field with Sheaves and Arles in the Background". It was among the various paintings inspired by wheat fields during summer that Vincent Van Gogh made.

This specific piece of artwork was painted on the month of June, in the year 1988. Currently, the painting is displayed at Musee Rodin in Paris, France.

Just at the peak of his career, Van Gogh moved to Arles in February 1888, located in the Southern part of France. He concentrated on painting some of his renowned artwork. The paintings grasped different illustrations of the ordinary way of life. During this period, Van Gogh’s style of painting was influenced by Japonism, Neo-Impressionism and Impressionism, styles he had picked up during his stay in Paris.

"View from the Wheat Fields": The Painting

During this period, Van Gogh was seemingly cheerful and confident to put his ideas on canvas. This artwork represents the harvest. Van Gogh was focused on understanding the close relationship farmers and seasons of nature shared. He was attentive on practices such as broadcasting seeds, process of reaping and the growing wheat.

Van Gogh was amazed at the sight of wheat fields made colour intense by the lighting. This inspired him to draw the painting. Leaning against each other on the frontpart are very many stalks of wheat in the grain field. The scene from above enables the wheat plantations to occupy a large space on the painting material. The image places the horizon line high above and reduces the thickness of the sky band, enabling the wheat crop to shimmer under the golden sun.

At the centre of the image is a couple seen to be harvesting and colourfully painted in yellow and ochre. On the upper part, between the town of Arles that lies on the horizon, and the wheat field, a train is seen passing. Van Gogh did this painting in portrait form, unlike the rest of the Wheat Fields paintings, which were done using the landscape format.

Wheat was symbolic to Vincent. He described it as “What humans can result to doing when the thought of all the things they cannot comprehend crosses their minds but stare at the wheat fields…. We that survive on bread, are we any different from wheat…to be reaped when ready.”

He went ahead to describe the wheat fields as “… landscapes, yellow. Old gold. Prepared hurriedly just like the farmer who remains quiet under the scorching sun rays, directing all the energy and concentration on the reaping.”