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Wheat Field with Cypresses

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise)

Date:
1889
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
28 3/4 x 36 3/4 in. (73 x 93.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1993
Accession Number:
1993.132
  • Gallery Label

    Writing to his brother, Theo, from the asylum in Saint-Rémy on July 2, 1889, Van Gogh described his latest addition to the series he had launched that June: "I have a canvas of cypresses with a few ears of wheat, poppies, a blue sky, which is like a multicolored Scotch plaid." Van Gogh regarded this sun-drenched landscape as one of his "best" summer canvases and repeated the composition three times: first in a reed-pen drawing (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) and then in two oil variants he made later that fall (National Gallery, London; private collection).

  • Provenance

    the artist's brother, Theo van Gogh, Paris (1889–d. 1891; sent to him by the artist on September 28, 1889); his widow, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, Amsterdam, in trust for their son, Vincent Willem van Gogh (1891–1900; sold with seven other works for Fr 9,400 to Schuffenecker); Émile Schuffenecker (1900–at least 1901); Louis-Alexandre Berthier, prince de Wagram, Paris (about 1906–at least 1909); [Galerie Barbazanges, Paris, until 1910; sold in November to Cassirer]; [Paul Cassirer, Berlin, 1910; sold in November or December 1910 to Mendelssohn]; Franz von Mendelssohn, Berlin (1910–d. 1935); von Mendelssohn family, Germany, later Switzerland (1935–51; sold through Fritz Nathan to Bührle); Emil Bührle, Zurich (1951–d. 1956); his son, Dieter Bührle, Zurich (1956–93; sold to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Galerie Bernheim-Jeune. "Exposition Vincent van Gogh," March 15–31, 1901, no. 49 (as "Blés et Cyprès [temps de mistral]," lent by M. Emile Schuffenecker).

    Paris. Galerie E. Druet. "Cinquante tableaux de Vincent van Gogh," November 8–20, 1909, no. 46 (as "Cyprès aux Blés d'or").

    Berlin. Paul Cassirer. "III. Ausstellung," October 25–November 20, 1910, no. 28 (as "Das Getreidefeld 'Kalligraphisch knorrige Wolken'") [see Feilchenfeldt 1988].

    Berlin. Kronprinzenpalais, Nationalgalerie. "Van Gogh—Matisse," 1921, no. ? [see La Faille 1970].

    Milan. Palazzo Reale. "Van Gogh: Dipinti e disegni," February–April 1952, no. 107 (lent by Dr. E. Bührle, Zürich).

    Kunsthaus Zürich. "Vincent van Gogh," October 9–November 21, 1954, not in catalogue.

    Kunsthaus Zürich. "Sammlung Emil G. Bührle," June 7–end of September, 1958, no. 243.

    Berlin. Schloss Charlottenburg. "Französische Malerei von Manet bis Matisse aus der Sammlung Emil B. Bührle/Zürich," October 5–November 23, 1958, no. 47.

    Haus der Kunst München. "Hauptwerke der Sammlung Emil Georg Bührle - Zürich," December 5, 1958–February 15, 1959, no. 74 (as "Das Gelbe Ährenfeld mit Zypressen").

    Paris. Petit Palais. "De Gericault à Matisse: Chefs-d'œuvre français des collections suisses," March–May 1959, no. 68 (lent by the Collection Bührle, Zürich).

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "The Passionate Eye: Impressionist and Other Master Paintings from the Collection of Emil G. Bührle, Zürich," May 6–July 15, 1990, no. 62 (lent from a private collection).

    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "The Passionate Eye: Impressionist and Other Master Paintings from the Collection of Emil G. Bührle, Zürich," August 3–October 14, 1990, no. 62.

    Yokohama Museum of Art. "The Passionate Eye: Impressionist and Other Master Paintings from the Collection of Emil G. Bührle, Zürich," November 2, 1990–January 13, 1991, no. 62.

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "The Passionate Eye: Impressionist and Other Master Paintings from the Collection of Emil G. Bührle, Zürich," February 1–April 9, 1991, no. 62.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Vincent van Gogh: The Drawings," October 12–December 31, 2005, no. 111.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009, online catalogue.

  • References

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [July 2, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b645 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 597; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 784], mentions that he is enclosing "ten or so drawings today, all after canvases on the go," including one after this work (F1538; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam); and describes "a canvas of cypresses with a few ears of wheat, poppies, a blue sky, which is like a multicolored Scottish plaid. This one, which is impasted like the Monticellis..." (alternately associated with the present picture and F620; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo).

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [September 5 and 6, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. nos. b652 a-d V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 604 (as Sept. 1889); Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 800]

    , states "At the end of the month you can rely on 12 no.30 canvases I dare say, but there will be almost the same ones twice, the study and the final painting," including the present picture among the studies
    .

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [June 25, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b644 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 596; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 783], mentions "12 no.30 canvases on the stocks," including this work.

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [September 28, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b656 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 608; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 806], writes that he is sending Theo a package of canvases including two called "Wheatfield and cypresses" (this picture and F615, National Gallery, London); calls this painting one of his "best canvases".

    Lettres de Vincent van Gogh à Émile Bernard. Paris, 1911, pl. 91, lists it incorrectly as "Le cyprès et l'arbre en fleurs," in the Bernheim-Jeune collection.

    J.-B. de La Faille. L'Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh: Catalogue Raisonné. Paris, 1928, vol. 1, p. 204, no. 717; vol. 2, pl. 169, as "Le champ de blé jaune," in the collection of F. von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Grunewald.

    J.-B. de La Faille. Les Faux Van Gogh. Paris, 1930, p. 10, fig. 40, compares this work, F 615 (National Gallery, London), and F 1538 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), to F 729, which he identifies as a fake.

    W. Scherjon. Catalogue des tableaux par Vincent van Gogh décrits dans ses lettres. Périodes: St. Rémy et Auvers sur Oise. Utrecht, 1932, p. 53, no. 48, ill.

    Michel Florisoone. Van Gogh. Paris, 1937, ill. pp. 50–51, as "Le champ de blé jaune," 1889, in the collection of F. von Mendelsshon-Bartholdy [sic].

    W. Scherjon and Jos. De Gruyter. Vincent van Gogh's Great Period: Arles, St. Rémy and Auvers sur Oise (complete catalogue). Amsterdam, 1937, p. 243, St. Rémy no. 48, ill., as "Cornfield and Cypresses".

    J.-B. de La Faille. Vincent van Gogh. London, [1939], pp. 437, 560, 575, 589, ill., as "The Field of Yellow Corn," in the collection of Franz von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Grunewald; dates it October 1889.

    Jean Leymarie. Van Gogh. [Paris], 1951, p. 125.

    Werner Weisbach. Vincent van Gogh: Kunst und Schicksal. 2, Basel, [1951], p. 178.

    François Daulte. "Le Chef-d'oeuvre d'une vie: La Collection Buhrle." Connaissance des Arts 52 (June 1956), ill. p. 34.

    John Rewald. Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin. 1st ed. New York, 1956, ill. p. 324 [3rd, rev. ed., 1978, ill. p. 303], as "Yellow Corn—Cypresses at Saint Rémy," in the collection of Emil Bührle, Zürich; dates it October 1889 [dates it June–July 1889 in the 3rd ed., 1978].

    Marco Valsecchi. Van Gogh. Milan, 1957, colorpl. 23, as "The Yellow Cornfield, Saint Rémy," in a private collection; dates it October 1889.

    Vincent van Gogh. The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh with Reproductions of All the Drawings in the Correspondence. Greenwich, Conn., 1958, vol. 3, p. 184, under letter no. 596, p. 188, under letter no. 597, p. 204, under letter no. 604, p. 219, under letter no. 608, dates letter no. 604 to September 1889; but see refinement in Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 800.

    Alan Bowness. Vincent van Gogh: Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, Amsterdam. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. [London], [1968], p. 105, states that ours was the first of the four versions of this composition, probably painted in one day before the motif, followed by the drawing (F1538; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), then the "definitive" painting (F615; National Gallery, London), and last, the smaller replica (F743; private collection).

    J.-B. de La Faille. The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings. Amsterdam, 1970, pp. 247, 277, 283, 531, 639, no. 717, ill., as "Wheatfield with Cypress, at the Haute Galline, near Eygalières"; in a private collection, Switzerland; dates it June–July 1889.

    Paolo Lecaldano. "Da Arles a Auvers." L'opera pittorica completa di Van Gogh e i suoi nessi grafici. 2, repr. [1st ed., 1966]. Milan, 1971–77, pp. 218, 220, no. 669, ill., dates it June–July 1889.

    Hope Benedict Werness. "Essays on van Gogh's Symbolism." PhD diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1972, p. 219 n. 17, p. 220 n. 27.

    Jan Hulsker. The Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. [1st ed., Amsterdam, 1977]. New York, 1980, pp. 400, 406, no. 1756, ill.

    Ronald Pickvance The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy and Auvers. New York, 1986, pp. 110, 133, 298, ill. p. 299, calls this the "first painting of the motif...completed in late June".

    John Leighton in "Vincent van Gogh's 'A Cornfield, with Cypresses'." National Gallery Technical Bulletin 11 (1987), pp. 42–45, fig. 1, as "A Cornfield, with Cypresses"; in a private collection, Switzerland; identifies this picture as the one mentioned in Van Gogh's letter of July 2, 1889 [see Ref.], and calls it the first version of the subject, painted in early July.

    Walter Feilchenfeldt. Vincent van Gogh & Paul Cassirer, Berlin: The Reception of Van Gogh in Germany from 1901 to 1914. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1988, pp. 36, 115, 148, 155–56, ill.

    Walter Feilchenfeldt. "Van Gogh Fakes: The Wacker Affair, with an Illustrated Catalogue of the Forgeries." Simiolus 19, no. 4 (1989), p. 310, ill., identifies a forged van Gogh (F 729) painted after our work while it was in the Mendelssohn collection, Berlin.

    Roland Dorn in Vincent van Gogh and the Modern Movement: 1890–1914. Exh. cat., Museum Folkwang, Essen. Freren, Germany, 1990, p. 172.

    Nicole Dubreuil-Blondin. "L'entrepreneur et les impressionnistes." RACAR 17, no. 2 (1990), p. 182, dates it 1888.

    Stanley David Gedzelman. "The Meteorological Odyssey of Vincent van Gogh." Leonardo 23, no. 1 (1990), p. 110.

    Margrit Hahnloser-Ingold in The Passionate Eye: Impressionist and Other Master Paintings from the Collection of Emil G. Bührle, Zürich. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Zürich, 1990, p. 22, ill. p. 28 (installation photo), reproduces a photograph showing this picture in Bührle's home in Zürich.

    Jan Hulsker. Vincent and Theo van Gogh: A Dual Biography. Trans. and rev. ed. [1st ed. Weesp, Holland, 1985]. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1990, p. 360, states that this picture and F 615 (National Gallery, London) are variations on F 719 (Narodni Gallery, Prague); argues that it is difficult to determine whether our picture preceded F 615.

    Charles S. Moffett in The Passionate Eye: Impressionist and Other Master Paintings from the Collection of Emil G. Bührle, Zürich. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Zürich, 1990, p. 241, no. 62, ill. (color, overall and detail).

    Jonathan Phillips. "Learning from Van Gogh." American Artist 54 (October 1990), pp. 73–74, ill. p. 38 (color).

    Ronald Pickvance in Vincent van Gogh: Drawings. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo. Milan, 1990, p. 286.

    Evert van Uitert et al. Vincent van Gogh: Paintings. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. Milan, 1990, p. 205, fig. 87c, dates it July 1889.

    Richard Kendall. "Patronage and the Modern Movement: The E.G. Bührle Collection." Apollo 133 (February 1991), pp. 122–23, fig. 1.

    J.-B. de La Faille. Vincent van Gogh, The Complete Works on Paper: Catalogue Raisonné. 1, Revised, supplemented ed. [1st ed., Paris, 1928]. San Francisco, 1992, p. 402, states that although the drawing (F 1538; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) seems to be done after this painting, it can also be linked to F 615 and F 743 and dated to June or early July 1889.

    John House. "Exhibition Reviews, New York: The New Nineteenth-Century European Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum." Burlington Magazine 135 (December 1993), p. 856.

    Jan Hulsker. Vincent van Gogh: A Guide to His Work and Letters. Amsterdam, 1993, pp. 41, 55, 61, 76, identifies this work as being mentioned in van Gogh's September 28 letter to Theo, but not in his July 2 letter [Refs. 1889], and notes that it was among those pictures dispatched to Theo.

    Michael Kimmelman. "Annenberg Donates a Van Gogh to the Met." New York Times (May 25, 1993), p. C13, ill. p. A1.

    Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1992–1993." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 51 (Fall 1993), pp. [2-3], 50–51, ill. p. 51 (color) and on front cover (color detail).

    Gary Tinterow et al. The New Nineteenth-Century European Paintings and Sculpture Galleries. New York, 1993, p. 84, ill. (color).

    Ann Hoenigswald. "Reworking Finished Paintings, Gauguin and Van Gogh: A Comparison." Van Gogh: The Songlines of Legend. Melbourne, [1994], p. 43, uses this picture to illustrate van Gogh's working process, arguing that he worked out his compositions primarily through painting rather than other media.

    Thomas Noll. "Der große Sämann": Zur Sinnbildlichkeit in der Kunst von Vincent van Gogh. Worms, 1994, p. 140.

    Matthias Arnold. Vincent van Gogh: Werk und Wirkung. Munich, 1995, pp. 484, 549.

    Elizabeth Nicoline Heenk. "Vincent van Gogh's Drawings: An Analysis of Their Production and Uses." PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art, 1995, p. 186, states that the drawing F 1538 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) was made after this painting.

    Jan Hulsker. The New Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. rev. ed. Amsterdam, 1996, pp. 400, 496, no. 1756, ill. p. 406, calls it "an almost identical replica" of the National Gallery picture (F 615).

    Ira Berkow. "Jewels in the Desert." Art News 97 (May 1998), p. 148.

    Judith H. Dobrzynski. "Tracing a van Gogh Treasured by the Met." New York Times (February 11, 1998), p. E3, ill. p. E1 (color).

    Ronald Pickvance. Van Gogh. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2000, pp. 35, 39, 90, 94.

    Pierre Cabanne. Van Gogh. Paris, 2002, pp. 170–71, ill (color), erroneously as still in a private collection, Zurich.

    Dorothee Hansen in Van Gogh: "Fields". The "Field with Poppies" and the Artists' Dispute. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bremen. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2002, p. 86, ill. p. 39 (color), calls it "Wheat Field with Cypresses at the Haute Galline near Eygalières, étude"; confuses a reference to Pickvance's [Ref. 1990] identification of a drawing based on the painting.

    Chris Stolwijk and Han Veenenbos. The Account Book of Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger. Amsterdam, 2002, pp. 144, 187, ill., identify it as one of eight works sold by Van Gogh-Bonger to Émile Schuffenecker, for which she recorded partial payment of 1,914 guilders (4,000 francs) in January 1901; note that the total amount of the sale was 9,400 francs, but that it is unclear whether Schuffenecker ever paid the remainder.

    Teio Meedendorp in The Paintings of Vincent van Gogh in the Collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum. Otterlo, 2003, p. 418 nn. 3, 4, 10, 17–19, notes ownership of the painting by Emile Schuffenecker, and later by the fourth Prince of Wagram (here identified as Philippe Alexandre Berthier).

    Gary Tinterow. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2002–2003." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 61 (Fall 2003), p. 35.

    Marije Vellekoop in Vincent van Gogh: The Drawings. Exh. cat., Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. New York, 2005, pp. 312, 314, 316, 318–19, no. 111, ill. (color).

    Katharine Baetjer in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, p. 24, fig. 15 [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, p. 20, fig. 15].

    Martin Bailey in Van Gogh and Britain: Pioneer Collectors. Exh. cat., Compton Verney, Warwickshire. Edinburgh, 2006, p. 82.

    Walter Feilchenfeldt. By Appointment Only: Cézanne, Van Gogh and Some Secrets of Art Dealing. English ed. London, 2006, p. 70, ill. p. 102 (color), as "Wheat Field with Cypress"; identifies it as the painting copied by Otto Wacker for a fake Van Gogh (F729) and suggests that Wacker had access to our painting, since it was then in the von Mendelssohn collection, Berlin.

    Stefan Koldehoff in Van Gogh and Expressionism. Exh. cat., Neue Galerie New York. Ostfildern, 2007, p. 171, states that Cassirer sold this painting to Marie Clara and Franz von Mendelssohn, Berlin, in November or December 1910.

    Susan Alyson Stein in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 14 (installation view, color), 148.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 170–71, 259, no. 159, ill. (color and black and white).

    Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, fig. 17 (installation photo, color).

    Marije Vellekoop, and Roelie Zwikker, with the assistance of Monique Hageman. "Arles, Saint-Rémy & Auvers-sur-Oise, 1888–90." Vincent van Gogh, Drawings. 4, Zwolle, The Netherlands, 2007, part 1, pp. 237, 241, fig. 366d (color), agree with Refs. Bowness 1968, Pickvance 1986–87 and Pickvance 1990 that it is the model for the drawing F1538 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam).

    Jill Elyse Grossvogel. Claude-Emile Schuffenecker: Catalogue Raisonné, Supplement. Chicago, 2008, p. 45.

    Marije Vellekoop in Van Gogh: Heartfelt Lines. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna. Cologne, 2008, pp. 60–62, 67 n. 1, p. 449, ill. (color).

    Karen Wilkin. "Homage at the Metropolitan." New Criterion 27 (December 2008), p. 5.

    Denise Willemstein in Van Gogh: Heartfelt Lines. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna. Cologne, 2008, pp. 374, 454, ill. (color).

    Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, p. 218.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. ix, 206–11, no. 39, ill. (color), states that X-radiographs reveal that no changes were made to this composition as it was being painted.

    Vincent van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh—The Letters. London, 2009, vol. 5, pp. 41, 44, fig. 8 (color), under letter no. 783, pp. 49, 51, fig. 22 (color), under letter no. 784, pp. 82, 84, fig. 11 (color), under letter no. 800, p. 106, fig. 2 (color), under letter no. 806.

    Seraina Werthemann and Nina Zimmer in Vincent van Gogh—Between Earth and Heaven: The Landscapes. Exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Basel. Ostfildern, 2009, pp. 110, 241, fig. 95 (color).



  • Notes

    Van Gogh painted this picture at Saint-Rémy in late June–early July 1889.

    There exists a Eugène Druet photograph of this picture (pl. 75, no. 42478, ca. 1900–1910, collection Le fonds Druet-Vizzavona, Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Fort de Saint-Cyr, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France), probably taken during the Van Gogh exhibition at Druet in Paris in 1909.

  • See also
436535

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