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Cypresses (Les Cyprès)

Vincent van Gogh

European Art

This drawing dates from Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 stay at a psychiatric asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, during a period when he became fascinated with the dark, obelisk-like forms of cypress trees. He sent it to his brother Theo in July of that year as a way to “show” him what the paintings he was working on looked like. The canvas that corresponds to this drawing is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Not only is Brooklyn’s work on paper a “reproduction” in the sense that it was made to represent a painting, but it also draws from the visual vocabulary of the inexpensive contemporary prints that van Gogh adored, using an abbreviated language of dots and dashes to communicate tonal effects. He executed this and other drawings of this period with an improvised pen made from a sharpened stalk of a local reed—a technique that forced him to work quickly and assertively.
MEDIUM Brown ink and graphite on wove Latune et Cie Balcons paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES June 1889
    DIMENSIONS 24 3/8 x 18 5/8 in. (61.9 x 47.3 cm) Other: 24 1/2 x 18in. (62.2 x 45.7cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 38.123
    CREDIT LINE Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890). Cypresses (Les Cyprès), June 1889. Brown ink and graphite on wove Latune et Cie Balcons paper, 24 3/8 x 18 5/8 in. (61.9 x 47.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund, 38.123 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 38.123_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 38.123_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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