Van Gogh's Olive Trees
Listen to the Story: 7 minutes
Vincent van Gogh is one of the most mythologised figures in art history. The Dutch Post-Impressionist is often recalled as a madman, with his bandaged ear, painting in a tortured frenzy.
Art historian and Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery, Francis Fowle considers the brilliant and varied artist behind the myth. Van Gogh’s many depictions of olive trees demonstrate the surprisingly studious approach which went into his expressive brushwork, and his thoughtful interest in Impressionist colour theory. Spiritually charged but diligently sketched from life, Fowle sees Van Gogh’s olive grove paintings as a ‘pure vision of the landscape’.