Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, September 1889
oil on canvas,
44 cm x 26.2 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Within a short period in September 1889, Van Gogh produced paintings based on ten prints. They included this woodcutter. The prints were a series of small wood engravings, themselves based on ten paintings by Jean-François Millet (1814-1875).
Van Gogh copied the images as accurately as he could, given the small size of the engravings. He didn’t regard the resulting paintings as mere copies. He saw them as free polychrome ‘interpretations’ of monochrome prints by another artist. Just as a musician might make a new arrangement of a piece by another composer.