Friday, September 18, 2009

Van Gogh ~ The Ox Cart

Here again is Van Gogh's The Ox Cart, the piece of the week at Fifty Two Pieces. Van Gogh completed at least two other works involving oxen, one oil and one drawing. Cart with Red and White Ox(below) also painted in 1884 is at the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands. The ox stands alone in the Dutch version, not surrounded by crows. Perhaps that's because the cart is empty, the manure already taken to the fields. The overall lighting is a bit brighter in "Red and White" also suggesting later in the day when more of the sun might have broken through the fog. Van Gogh seems to have used similar brushstrokes to build up the ox as he had done in The Ox Cart – sculpting the legs with the paint and his brush to paraphrase Bruce Guenther, Chief Curator at the Portland Art Museum. Having the two ox paintings in the same gallery would be a great way to experience these early oils by Van Gogh.

During the same time frame Van Gogh also did at least one drawing of an ox cart. Oxcart in the Snow (below) is a pen drawing and is in a private collection somewhere. For anyone interested in astrology, 2009 is the Year of the Ox.

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