In Vincent van Gogh's 1890 work, Ears of Wheat, van Gogh treated nature as a decorative motif -- much as he did in Butterflies and Poppies, which he painted before he left the asylum at Saint-Rémy. The growing stalks, ready to bear their grain, cover the canvas from one side to another. There is no ground line in Ears of Wheat, no horizon, only the sinuous and rhythmic forms of the undulating leaves and the upright stems. Vincent van Gogh's line has a pulsating energy, exhibiting the emotional agitation of his writhing cypresses and twisting olive trees.
Companionship was always important to Vincent -- and elusive. Next, we'll take a closer look at a painting with this as its subject.