The Sower

Painted in Arles, June of 1888. Oil on canvas 64 x 80.5 cm. Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo.

The image of a farmer with the arm extended and throwing seeds on the furrows of the field was one of the favourite farmers representations of Vincent Van Gogh.

In 1888, while the artist was staying at Arles, he painted vary scenes of the Sower. Most of them inspired by Jean-Francois Millet, who years earlier painted many scenes of farmers and sowers.

During these early years, Van Gogh painted in different compositions several sowers, with the clear influence of Millet .

But, soon Van Gogh would show a personal interpretation of these traditional scenes, introducing the impressionist style to the country side, with the very electric and short strokes, and the application of a lot of vibrant colors..

Around the 21 st of November that year, Vincent sent to his brother Theo the sketch of a new version of the Sower.In this new version the simple figure of the sower is the main object in the painting. Van Gogh located next to the sower a big and dark tree inclined that divides diagonally the painting. In the back a big round sun finishes the trilogy of big figures of this surprising painting. Opposite to these big figures we find the details of the city far away and the crust of tree, seems filigreed and anecdotic.

The audacious composition with streamlined forms, the superpositions and the triangular mysteries of the fields along with the expressive and doughy application of the colour, results as an amazing modernity for year 1888.

Van Gogh painted several scenes of the sower inspired by Millet, even copying some of his drawings, but the last one was the favorite of Vincent Van Gogh and also the one closer to his own personality and style and most different and further from Millet`s influence.

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