Object Image

The Olive Trees

In the blazing heat of this Mediterranean afternoon, nothing rests. Against a ground scored as if by some invisible torrent, intense green olive trees twist and crimp, capped by the rolling, dwindling hillocks of the distant Alps, beneath a light-washed sky with a bundled, ectoplasmic cloud.

After van Gogh voluntarily entered the asylum at Saint-Rémy in the south of France in the spring of 1889, he wrote his brother Theo: "I did a landscape with olive trees and also a new study of a starry sky." Later, when the pictures had dried, he sent both of them to Theo in Paris, noting: "The olive trees with the white cloud and the mountains behind, as well as the rise of the moon and the night effect, ...

Saint Rémy, June-July 1889
Oil on canvas
72.7 x 91.4cm
581.1998
Image and text © MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Museum of Modern Art
Permanent collection