Vincent van Gogh

White House at Night

White House at Night
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Vincent van Gogh
Landscape, Painting, Oil on canvas, 59x72.5 cm
Origin: France, June, 1890

In May 1890, Vincent van Gogh came to Auvers-sur-Oise and painted a series of pictures with houses. The Auvers period began with the hope of a new life and the recovery of health. This sense of hope was expressed in the pictures executed in May. In the June paintings, the motif of the home remained at the centre of the artist's attention, but its emotional range expanded greatly - from gloomy foreboding to conciliation. Since the emotion was expressed by the artist not through the subject itself, but through his manipulation of the methods of painting, the structure of his compositions changed each time. In the present picture a frozen quality prevails, and the chief lines are stable horizontals and verticals. They are needed to draw a house, but they can turn it into a prison. The artist gives much attention to windows, the "eyes" of a home. The red splashes of the windows to the right are alarming; Van Gogh would draw a star, a sign of fate, at moments of greatest anguish. The White House at Night expresses the great psychological tension under which Van Gogh found himself.

Style: Post-Impressionism
Source of entry: formerly in the collection of Otto Krebs, Holzdorf
Exibition: French Painting: 19th - 20th centuries
Transferred from Germany after World War II

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