In February 1888 Van Gogh left Paris for the town of Arles in Provence. He longed for the quiet countryside, the life in Paris had exhausted him. He moved to Provence with the great hope to find the light and atmosphere that fascinated him in Japanese prints. And so he did.
Inspired by the seasonal changes in Arles, Vincent painted this painting. Summer arrived early in the village and the wild irises bloomed in the meadows.
On May 12 1888, Vincent writes to Theo: “A meadow full of very yellow buttercups, a ditch with iris plants with green leaves and purple flowers, the town in the background, a few gray willows – a strip of blue sky.
If they don’t mow the meadow I’d like to do this study again, for the subject was very beautiful, and I had some trouble finding the composition. A little town surrounded by fields completely blooming with yellow and purple flowers; you know, it is a beautiful Japanese dream.”
Current location: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands