Olive Trees, 1889
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Oil on canvas; 28 5/8 x 36 1/4 in. (72.7 x 92.1 cm)
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1998, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (1998.325.1)
This is one of five pictures of olive orchards that Van Gogh made in November 1889. Painted directly from nature but animated by Seurat-like stippling and stylized passages of broken color, these works responded to recent compositions by Paul Gauguin and Émile Bernard. "What I’ve done is a rather harsh and coarse realism beside their abstractions," Van Gogh observed, "but it will nevertheless impart a rustic note, and will smell of the soil."