Plow and harrow (according to Mill) by Vincent Van Gogh

Plow and harrow (according to Mill) by Vincent Van Gogh

The plot of the painting was borrowed by Van Gogh from the engraving of Alfred Delaunay in the painting by Jean-Francois Millet. Since 1889, Van Gogh often copied the work of artists, whose work was in his heart of response. Such work gave him comfort during illness, beneficially influencing his state of mind.

In the work of Mille Van Gogh attracted the theme of a snow-covered field, where in places the abandoned agricultural tools are seen. Over a huge empty space crows are ridden, and only here and there is scant vegetation. The composition of the picture completely repeats the original. But, having adopted the plot, Van Gogh reproduces the picture in accordance with his vision and perception.

Van Gogh does not endow work with a wealth of shades, performing it in a subdued gray scale. Only a small spot of scanty sunlight can be seen in the dim sky. Dynamic long strokes, which paint the sky, create a sense of wind whirls above the deserted space.

The field is written with various pastel shades – from bluish-gray on the horizon to gray-brown in the foreground. Deep shadows and twisted swabs create a feeling of depression and anxiety. The landscape becomes much more sad and cold than in the picture of Mille.

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