Vincent van Gogh painted Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen in 1884. The solid form of the chapel with its high, pointed spire anchors the composition of the painting.
The stone building topped by its dark roof rises in front of a bright blue sky filled with soft white clouds. In the foreground, Vincent has roughed in the townspeople with a few quick strokes. His varied brush stroke -- cross-hatched on the chapel, feathery for the dry leaves on the bare branches, thick on the garments of the figures -- adds expressive force to a straightforward subject.
The Parsonage Garden in the Snow is breathtaking in scope and stark in color. Learn about this early van Gogh painting in the next section.