In his 1890 painting titled Undergrowth with Two Figures, Vincent van Gogh revived one of his favorite motifs: two lovers strolling through a natural setting. Rather than a romantic image, Vincent always regarded a couple as an emblem of companionship; he believed lovers completed each other. But the setting of van Gogh's Undergrowth with Two Figures -- with no clear path in view -- undermines any aspect of consolation. The figures seem trapped amidst the staggered tree trunks.
Like many late-nineteenth-century painters, Japanese art exerted a strong influence on Vincent van Gogh's aesthetic. On the next page, you'll find an example of this.