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"Noon - Rest from Work" by Vincent Van Gogh

"Noon - Rest from Work" by Vincent Van Gogh

18/09/2020

Author of many original masterpieces, Vincent Van Gogh was also a painter who admired his colleagues. In fact, there are several works by the Dutch painter that bear witness to Van Gogh's respect for other painters and "Noon - Rest from Work" is one of them.

"Noon - Rest from Work": a painting inspired by a work by Jean-François Millet

Made in 1890 and now kept at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, this painting by Van Gogh is a 71 X 91 cm canvas and its representation is linked to a work by the realist painter Jean-François Millet, an artist who lived years before Vincent Van Gogh.

The Dutch artist was inspired several times during his career by the works of his colleagues; he believed that the painters he admired had made a great contribution to the high level that art had reached and somehow, when he was inspired by their works, he also wanted to pay homage to them through his work.

In this case Van Gogh was inspired by a drawing used by Millet for the series of paintings entitled "The Four Hours of the Day".

An idea born during his stay in the Saint-Rémy psychiatric hospital

Like many other paintings by Van Gogh, this one, too, was born during his stay in the psychiatric hospital that hosted him several times. Here the painter analysed Millet's drawing in depth and told his ideas and impressions to his brother Theo. These letters show the great esteem the artist had for Millet, which was also due to the choices Millet made when he had to paint, both in terms of colours and subjects. 

In this work Jean-François Millet had chosen the peasants as main subjects, exalting them as if they were heroes, an aspect shared by Van Gogh.

"Noon - rest from work": analysis of the work

Looking at this painting by Vincent Van Gogh you can see two farmers resting after hard work in the fields. The woman rests and shows herself with her head resting on her arms, while the man has his face covered by a straw hat. Next to the man you can see his shoes and also two sickles used for work. 

In the distance you can see another man who continues to work and is intent on setting up a cart and oxen, and in the painting you can also see sheaves, the result of the work of the farmers. 

The quick brushstrokes suggest that the artist wanted to represent a warm, but also slightly ventilated day, but the greatest attention must be paid to the choice of complementary colours that create unique contrasts in this painting. Blue and purple intertwine perfectly with yellow and orange, giving life to a vivid painting, carefully cared for in every detail and capable of transporting the observer into that field and making him feel the smell of freshly mown hay, the breeze that seems to caress the grass and the face of the peasants, along with many other sensations. 

Much appreciated and capable of capturing the viewer's full attention, this painting by Vincent Van Gogh is a tribute to Millet that perfectly shows the great esteem the Dutch artist had for his colleague.

Article by: Aurora Caraman.