Vincent van Gogh felt a profound empathy with the natural environment and considered the “spiritual essence” of trees to be comparable with that of human figures.
This superbly illustrated book traces van Gogh’s development as a painter of trees, from the distinctive pollard willows of his home province of North Brabant to the cypress and olive trees of Provence to the parks of Paris. Ralph Skea discusses van Gogh’s early life in the Netherlands; his first tree studies in the Dutch landscape; his paintings of trees within townscapes; his particular fascination with orchards, which led to some of his best-known and most loved paintings; and the works he completed in rural Provence.
From delicate drawings in pencil and ink and subtle, Pointillist-inspired paintings to stylized, boldly colored depictions of single trees, groves, and landscapes, the oils and sketches reproduced here are a testament to the artist’s poetic sensibility and great talent in capturing nature.
Ralph Skea was for many years Senior Lecturer in European Urban Conservation at the University of Dundee, Scotland. He is the author of Vincent’s Gardens, Vincent’s Trees, and Monet’s Trees. His own paintings have been exhibited widely in Scotland since 1973.