Wheatfield under Thunderclouds (1890)

This painting, “Wheatfield under Thunderclouds”, was created by Van Gogh when he lived in Auvers in 1890. This painting is one of his very last paintings, he created this just days before his death.

The fact that this was one of Vincent’s last paintings makes this painting very special and more interesting. For example the composition: Vincent shows us the boundless fields and a turbulent horizon. The wheatfield takes over the painting and will finally, in the far distance meet the horizon. A composition and subject he loved to paint. The sky suggests that it could thunder anytime soon.

Another interesting fact is that Vincent painted the sun, the Christian symbol for God, far to the left of the painting, covered by clouds. This is a strange place to put sun.

In a letter to his parents Vincent writes about his fascination to paint wheatfields:

“I myself am quite absorbed in that immense plain with wheat fields up as far as the hills, boundless as the ocean, delicate yellow, delicate soft green, the delicate purple of a tilled and weeded piece of ground, with the regular speckle of the green of flowering potato plants, everything under a sky of delicate tones of blue, white, pink and violet.”

Use of color

Van Gogh broke new ground with his use of strong palette color and not representing nature realistically. Just like this painting. Here, Vincent used dark brushstrokes, mixed with the brightness of the sunlight and the clouds.

You could say that this painting is an overview of Vincent’s life journey, searching for love and recognition. The subject, the composition, and the use of color confirm this.

Current Location Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands