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Early Paintings by Vincent van Gogh


Flower Beds in Holland by Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh’s Flower Beds in Holland is an oil on canvas (19-1/4x26 inches) housed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Vincent van Gogh’s Flower Beds in Holland is an oil on canvas (19-1/4x26 inches) housed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Vincent van Gogh painted Flower Beds in Holland in 1883. The painting is an early example of van Gogh’s approach to landscapes.

During his second year in The Hague, van Gogh painted this small but luminous view of tulip fields in blossom. The foreground of his composition, observed from a low position, seems to rise sharply, accentuating the low horizon in a panoramic effect. The thatched cottages and bare tree trunks in the distance are engulfed in somber shadow, a striking contrast to the bright colors of the flower beds. These elements -- raked perspective and tonal contrast -- persisted in Vincent's conception of landscape painting.

Many of van Gogh's early works focused on the theme of agricultural labor. For an example of this, observe Peat Field, the painting in the next section.

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