The Large Plane Trees by Vincent van Gogh in 1889

The Large Plane Trees is an oil painting by Vincent van Gogh. Painted in 1889 in Saint-Rémy, France, the painting depicts roadwork underneath autumn trees with yellow leaves.

In May 1889, Van Gogh voluntarily committed himself to an asylum near the small town of Saint-Rémy in Provence. His doctors soon gave him permission to paint on day excursions to surrounding fields. While walking through Saint-Rémy that November, he was impressed by the sight of men repairing a road beneath immense plane trees. “In spite of the cold,” he wrote to his brother, “I have gone on working outside till now, and I think it is doing me good and the work too.” Rushing to capture the yellowing leaves, he painted this composition on an unusual cloth with a pattern of small red diamonds visible in the picture’s many unpainted areas.

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