Sower with Setting Sun 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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Painted in 1888 in Bouches-du-Rhône, France, Sower with Setting Sun shows Van Gogh's notorious use of dynamic colours to create a scene that almost seems to shimmer in the heat of the sun above.

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the best known painters of all time, and with his unique style and use of colour it is not difficult to see why. The painting itself is currently located at the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands. Depicting a solitary man sowing seeds across his field, this painting presents a simple part of rural life in an unusual way. Behind him the rows of crops form a reminder of the man's aim in sowing his current crops, and a small blue farmhouse with a red roof settles in the backdrop beneath the sun.

That sun is typical of Van Gogh's unusual approach to light; a large, plain circle just above the horizon, the rays seem to spread like the grain itself, parting around the golden orb. With his use of wandering lines, Van Gogh creates light in a way that was new at the time and is not easily reproduced today. Despite the cool blue of the cornflowers at the foreground of the painting, there is no denying the sheer heat of this scene.

The sower's shadow stretches long, portending a dramatic sunset, and a single dash of black to his left indicates a bird flying over the field. It is the small details like these that create depth to Van Gogh's art that very few artists, even late in their careers, can hope to achieve. With simple brush strokes and complicated use of bright colour, Van Gogh brought the canvas to life.

Sometimes with the most famous artists it is possible to overlook the art itself, and it is important that we remember why an artist gained his stellar reputation. Van Gogh may have lived a troubled, unsuccessful life but he has since brought joy and beauty to millions, and with this simple painting it is easy to express why. With an image like this adorning any wall, it can become a simple centrepiece that draws attention and creates conversation.