I feel a certain indebtedness [to the world] and … out of gratitude, want to leave some souvenir in the shape of drawings or pictures – not made to please a certain taste in art, but to express a sincere feeling.Vincent Van Gogh
To Vincent Van Gogh, the ardent lover of nature, wheat fields had been a perpetual fascination. Be it harvest or sowing, moon rise or sunset, Arles or Auvers- ‘wheat’ was a constant in a large number of his paintings and drawings. Van Gogh once wrote to his sister Wil, “What the germinating force is in a grain of wheat, love is in us.”
‘Wheat Fields after the Rain’, painted in Auvers-sur-Oise in July 1890 is one among dozens of Vincent’s wheat field paintings. The oil painting features the vast expanse of the plains of Auvers, which covers more than half of the canvas. The extensive wheat fields form a beautiful patchwork of yellows, blues and greens- fresh from the recent rain. The delicate calmness that lies underneath the wide swathe of the fields- is unknowingly conveyed to the viewer at the first glance of the painting.
The unbounded carpet of serene colors lies under the infinite sky. The downpour is over, evident from the title of the painting, and the sky is free from thunderclouds. It shows tints of blue and white, tones that bring with them peace and tranquility.
Both the colossal wheat fields and the sky seem to be endless, as is their underlying beauty. Some words from the artist himself would enable us to understand it better; ” I have a terrible lucidity at moments, these days when nature is so beautiful, I am not conscious of myself any more, and the picture comes to me as if in a dream.” Van Gogh’s magical brushstrokes bring to life the solace, the serenity he doubtlessly felt in his heart while creating the stunning work of art.
However, Vincent’s life was nearing the end. ‘Wheat Fields after the Rain’ was one of the last paintings done by the artist. Four days after completing the painting, Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in the Auvers wheat fields. He passed away quietly, on July 29, 1890.