|Still life with green apples and lemons. |
24"×20" (61 x 50.8 cm). Oil on canvas. January 2010.
The quote in this painting is a rather indirect one – on the basic, mundane level, it derives from the fact that the still life is painted over a study of Van Gogh's "View of Arles with Trees in Blossom" (1888), with its eye-piercing greenery, accentuated by warm violets of the foreground tree trunk.
This greenery remains uncovered by the new coat of paint in the right bottom corner, and some if it also shines through in the apples. Although otherwise Van Gogh's landscape is hidden, the painting picked up its color harmony: piercing yellows and greens set off by muted purples and violets.
|Van Gogh. View of Arles with Trees in Blossom"|
But the effect of Van Gogh's colour harmony, as I see it, is deeper than that. It's in the slight discord between colors, between lights, and highlights, and shadows – not visible directly unless you are looking for it specifically, but present nonetheless.
I sometimes think that it's mainly this mysterious effect of minor disharmony in the overall harmony that endows Van Gogh's painting with the overwhelming sense of the deep tragedy of human existence.