Poplars near Nuenen

Poplars near Nuenen 1885

Vincent van Gogh

Room 13

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Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Alexandra asked:
Is the frame on this work original?
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen responded:
Dear Alexandra, Our registrar of Modern Art, Jacqueline Rapmund, let me know that in the book 'Impressionisme: een schone kijk' (Cat. BVB 1992) it is mentioned that director P. Haverkoren van Rijsewijk wrote to Jo Van Gogh-Bonger on April 3, 1903, to confirm the arrival of the painting. He writes that the work went straight on to the restorer and a dark mahogany frame was ordered. So the frame is not original by Van Gogh.

About this artwork

Van Gogh attached a small drawing of this painting to a letter to his brother Theo, to show him what he had made. Based on this, the painting has been dated October 1884. At the same time there are indications that the painting was reworked two years later, in 1886, with brighter colours. In that year, Van Gogh was in Paris and, under the influence of the impressionists, he started working with lighter colours. It is not easy to determine which strokes of paint were made in the Netherlands and which were added in France. The blue stripes which stand out against the sky and the light touches in the trees seem to have been added in France. These are brighter than the colours he used in his Dutch period. The way in which the ground is painted, built up of isolated strokes of paint, also seems to acknowledge an impressionistic influence. Van Gogh left the signature at bottom left, which already appeared on the painting, when he did the repainting. The Dutch paint can still be seen there. Source: Annet Tellegen, 'De populierenlaan bij Nuenen van Vincent van Gogh', Bulletin Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam 1967, pp. 8-15. X-ray photos have shown that Van Gogh had initially used this canvas for a completely different painting. The contours of a church tower and a landscape can be seen. Perhaps he was dissatisfied with this composition and therefore used the same canvas for a different painting. Or could he not afford a new canvas and sacrificed an old work in order to be able to create a new one?

About the creator

Vincent van Gogh

Zundert 1853 - Auvers-sur-Oise 1890

Vincent van Gogh was the son of a minister and a preacher himself for a while. After he was dismissed in 1880 from his position as preacher in the poor mine region of Borinage in Belgium, he chose the life of an artist. Until 1886 Van Gogh wandered round the Netherlands. His paintings from this period are dark in tone and examples of the difficult life of a peasant. In 1886, Van Gogh left for Paris where his brother Theo had a gallery. He got to know artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat and Gauguin, and these had considerable influence on his work. His colour palette became lighter and he experimented with an impressionistic style of painting. In 1888, Van Gogh settled in Arles; his friend Gauguin would later follow him there. Here, Van Gogh's mental health deteriorated, which led, among other things, to the famous incident when he cut off a piece of his ear. He left around 1250 paintings and 1000 water colours, sketches and drawings, and also an extensive correspondence with his brother Theo.


Object details

material and technique: oil on canvas
kind of object: painting
creditline: Schenking / Donation: 26 Rotterdamse kunstvrienden / 26 Rotterdam friends of the arts 1903
inventory number: 1239 (MK)

Floor

Van dit schilderij voegde Van Gogh een kleine tekening bij een brief aan zijn broer Theo, om te laten zien wat hij had gemaakt. Aan de hand daarvan is bepaald dat het schilderij dateert van oktober 1884. Tegelijkertijd zijn er aanwijzingen dat het schilderij twee jaar later, in 1886, is bijgewerkt met helderder kleuren. In dat jaar verbleef Van Gogh in Parijs en was hij onder invloed van de impressionisten met lichtere kleuren gaan werken. Het is niet eenvoudig om te bepalen welke verfstreken hij in Nederland maakte en welke in Frankrijk. Vooral de blauwe streken die scherp tegen de lucht afsteken en de lichte toetsen in de bomen, lijken in Frankrijk te zijn toegevoegd. Deze zijn helderder dan de kleuren die hij in zijn Nederlandse periode gebruikte. Ook in de manier waarop de grond is geschilderd, opgebouwd uit geïsoleerde streken, lijkt een impressionistische invloed te herkennen. De signatuur linksonder, die al op het schilderij stond, heeft Van Gogh bij het overschilderen uitgespaard. Daar is de Nederlandse verf nog te zien. Literatuur: Annet Tellegen, 'De populierenlaan bij Nuenen van Vincent van Gogh', Bulletin Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam 1967, pp. 8-15. Uit de röntgenfoto van het schilderij blijkt dat Van Gogh dit doek aanvankelijk met een heel andere voorstelling beschilderde. Te zien zijn de contouren van een kerktoren in een landschap. Mogelijk was hij niet tevreden over deze compositie en gebruikte hij daarom hetzelfde doek om een ander schilderij te maken. Of kon hij zich geen nieuw doek permitteren en offerde hij daarom een oud werk op om een nieuw schilderij te kunnen maken?