Vincent van Gogh painted Cypresses in 1889, within a month of his arrival at the mental asylum, when Vincent gained permission to paint in the open air. He ventured just beyond the grounds of the hospital into the groves of cypress trees that he could see from his window. Van Gogh observed them closely, explaining to his brother Theo that the trees were constantly on his mind and that as a motif they reminded him of sunflowers, "because it astonishes me that they have not been done as I see them."
Besides nature, van Gogh also drew inspiration from old works of art, which he had previously produced in his studio. Keep reading to learn more about one of these copies.