Vincent van Gogh downplayed the narrative aspect of his 1888 painting Encampment of Gypsies with Caravans, focusing instead on the application of his pigment to the canvas.
The thick layers of impasto recorded the action of van Gogh's brush, rising off the canvas to mark the end of every stroke. This approach had become central to his work, giving the process of painting an expressive significance in the result. His technique required so much paint that he regularly asked his brother Theo for extra money to buy new supplies.
Like many of Vincent van Gogh's still-life works, the objects in Oleanders hold special significance for the artist. Learn about this painting in the next section.