Cornelia Homburg: "Van Gogh's Patience Escalier: Peasant à la Japonaise"

When Vincent van Gogh moved from Paris to the South of France in 1888, the rural environs inspired him to revisit some of the central themes of his Dutch years, such as the changing seasons and the "labors of the fields." At the same time, his work was greatly influenced by his admiration for Japanese art and culture, coupled with his ambition to create distinctly modern pictures. This lecture discusses Van Gogh's Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier) in the context of these interests, which played such a crucial role in the painter's efforts to define himself as a member of the avant-garde.