Van Gogh Palette Comparison

Color Pigment Comparison

When we examine the vast collection of Van Gogh oil paintings one can often determine his frame of mind upon execution; this in turn gives us a relevant timeframe.

Vincent’s use of color became increasingly more vibrant after he moved to Paris, and continued to flourish during Arles with the Sunflowers series.

From May 8, 1889 to May 16, 1890 during a year spent at the Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-Rémy Vincent produced some of his most famous and impressive works. 

During mid-April 1889, while in Arles, Vincent had written to his brother Theo requesting the following pigments in large tubes, noting “I have 6 spring studies, including two large orchards. It’s very urgent, because these effects are so fleeting”:

12 zinc white – 1 Emerald – 2 Cobalt – 2 Ultramarine – 1 Vermilion – 4 Veronese Green – 3 Chrome I – 1 Chrome II – 2 Geranium lake in medium tubes

The paintings consisted of 4 orchards, as well as Road with Pollard Willows, and Field with Flowers Under a Stormy Sky

On Sunday, 9 June 1889 having spent a month at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo requesting the following pigments:

8 tubes silver white – 6 tubes Veronese Green – 2 tubes Ultramarine – 2 tubes Cobalt – 2 tubes yellow Ochre – 1 tube red Ochre – 1 tube raw sienna – 1 tube ivory black

Compare pigments used in Farmhouse with Barn and Well with Vincent’s paintings

Note also that the painting is in dire need of cleaning!

The Olive Orchard, 1889
The Olive Orchard, 1889
Oranges and Lemons with Blue Gloves, 1889
Van-Gogh-Oranges-Lemons-and-Blue-Gloves
Oranges and Lemons and Blue Gloves
Autumn Landscape 1885
Van Gogh Sunflowers Philadelphia
Sunflowers
The De Ruijterkade in Amsterdam
The De Ruijterkade in Amsterdam
The Hill of Montmartre with Stone Quarry
The Hill of Montmartre with Stone Quarry
The Vicarage at Nuenen
The Vicarage at Nuenen
Cottage with Peasant Woman Digging
Cottage with woman digging

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