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In 1889, Vincent Van Gogh was admitted to an asylum for a year after having a break-down and mutilating his ear. During this period, he continued painting however he could. At times, he was not allowed to wander outdoors and used what he had inside for reference, like prints and other artworks from artists he looked up to, as well as flower arrangements for still life paintings.
One of the themes he painted multiple times while in the asylum was the wheat fields he saw from the bedroom door, making a series of paintings with the same landscape in different seasons and weather, which includes Wheat Field in Rain, Wheat field with Rising Sun and Wheat Field with Reaper and Sun. Profoundly influenced by Realism and its representation of peasants and the working class, this rural area was inspiring to Van Gogh. When he gained a bit of his health back, he ventured the surroundings of the asylum and painted multiple canvases portraying the wheat fields, like Wheat Field with Cypresses.
The view depicted in Wheat Field in Rain painted by Van Gogh shows the landscape he saw every day from his room on the top floor of the asylum and is particularly gloomy. With a cold color palette, the artist beautifully portrays a rainy day. With a similar composition to the other works of this series — as they were all painted from the same spot — the field takes up most of the canvas, and the wall on the left creates a diagonal line that provides a sense of perspective. The way the artist depicts the end of the surrounded area with a green, yellow and ochre brick wall, also gives an idea of the size of this area.
Van Gogh gives the field a continuous flow as he directed the brush strokes in parallel with the wall on the left, also giving more perspective to the painting. The Post-Impressionist life to the vegetation on a dark day by using rapid strokes of vibrant blue and green over a dark brown base. The wall can be seen as a symbol of Van Gogh's isolation during this period. The far mountains and sky were painted with tonalities of blue, lilac and white, as the rapid and long strokes of raindrops that take over the whole painting.
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