V. Van Gogh, Undergrowth with Two Figures, 1890
Earlier this year I went to visit Tara in Philly and we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the Van Gogh exhibit. I saw this piece for the first time and immediately fell in love. The flowers are vibrant, the tree in the middle distracts one’s focus away from the couple and the woman seems almost nymph-like—more a part of nature than someone among it. There is also a grand sense of depth and profoundness in the light brushstrokes of the flowers and the purple hues of the tree trunks. It feels familiar and hauntingly distinct all at once.
And then there’s the ominous dark background contrasted against the oranges and yellows of the flowers. It’s strange to think that this was completed about a month before Van Gogh’s death. His last works fascinate me for that reason—did he know? Did he feel it? Did it matter?