||Van Gogh, Vincent Willem
“Instead of trying to reproduce exactly what I have before my eyes, I use colour more arbitrarily so as to express myself more forcibly,” Van Gogh wrote. “I think of the man I have to paint, terrible in the furnace of the full harvest, the full south. Hence the strong orange shades , vivid as a red–hot iron, and hence the luminous tones of old gold in the shadows.”
Like The Postman this picture is evidence of how quickly and how far Van Gogh had travelled from Impressionism. The colours he had learned to use in Paris are now reinforced by the brilliant sun of the south. But the brush stroke is more vigorous and varied: as an example, it follows the contour of the forms around the eyes; it is limited by outline where strength requires, as over the right shoulder; and it is contrasted where necessary with flat , brilliant areas.