Vincent van Gogh goes through a difficult period near the end of his life, struggling with his mental and psychological health. He admits himself into an asylum for a year after having a crisis and mutilating his ear. During this period, the artist had almost no social contact but continued painting after regaining more balance with his health. He relied on books to keep in touch with the artistic, political and even fictional world, as they were now more popular e of easier access. Books kept Van Gogh’s mind alive during the isolation and helped him keep his production going. After the artist got out of the asylum and moved to Auvers-Sur-Oise in 1890, he paints Bank Of The Oise At Auvers.
This painting is a landscape that portrays a series of boats stopped at a bank with three people. A couple is standing on land – a woman in a white dress and yellow hat and a man in blue and a black hat. The third woman is sitting in the boat apparently reading and dressed just as the woman standing is. The figures are rapidly sketched out with no detail and showing the thick and loose brush strokes. The boats range from shades of green to blue, orange and red. These colors are reflected in the water, as Van Gogh painted colorful horizontal lines to portray the fluidness of the river. He beautifully mixes tonalities of blue with the colors of the boats, as well as the green from the vegetation that almost enters the water.
Behind the two standing figures, there is a small spot of ochre-colored sand and an abundance of vegetation in the top right corner that takes up about almost half of the canvas. These plants that practically hover over the figures have a frenetic style, as the painter combines shades of green with white, yellow, blue and black in zig-zag strokes.
This busy work reflects on the artist state of mind at the time. He had no social contact after his year in isolation. His brother Theo decides Van Gogh should see a doctor and calls on Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, recommended to him by the Impressionist Camille Pissarro, as the physician was friends with many other artists. He was enthusiastic about Van Gogh’s work and helped him continue to work in this last year of his life.
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