OIL PAINTING: The Harvest, 1888
Depicting the Harvest.
The vast landscape in the Harvest has been built up in horizontal planes; in the foreground lies the harvested wheat, while in the background the purple-blue mountains rise up into the turquoise air.
Van Gogh was not interested in simply painting a pretty, sun-drenched landscape, but in capturing the essence of country life. The various stages of the harvest are depicted in the central plane: there is a haystack, ladders, several carts and, to the right, a man with a pitchfork. Although they appear rather small, Van Gogh considered both the farmers and their labors to be an essential part of his painting.
Van Gogh himself gave the painting its title: La Moisson, the harvest. In his early work in Nuenen, too, the artist had sought to illustrate the various facets of peasant life .