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In 1888-1889, Van Gogh lived in the southern part of France in the town of Arles. It was there that the artist was inspired by beautiful landscapes. Walking on an October day in the vicinity of Montmazhor Abbey, he watched the locals pick up a ripe red wine-colored vineyard. The riot of colors of southern autumn and the symbolism of the harvest impressed Van Gogh so much that in just a month one of the author’s most famous works, “Red Vineyards in Arles,” was created.
Harvesting the vineyard symbolizes the heyday and sunset of the natural cycle. For Van Gogh, the sun is a source of life and prosperity, and the sultry midday sun is fullness and sunset. A man is also woven into the cycle of the universe, comprehending its rhythm in labor and constant movement. Visually, the picture is divided into two equivalent plans. The first depicts people picking grapes, and a little further you can see the figure of a person on a cart and trees.
Everything seems to melt under a hot solar disk: people and the vineyard merge together, interwoven into a thin outline of the universe. The effect of merging is created due to the special technique of applying strokes, so characteristic of the work of this artist. The incredible color scheme, which has become one of the hallmarks of Van Gogh's work, fills the picture with life and external light. The author does not mix paints, using the technique of applying contrasting strokes, most of which belong to warm colors and only occasionally come across cold lilac shadows.
Features of the painting reflect the hobbies of Van Gogh's youth, when he, working as a bank clerk, bought up paintings by artists he liked and had an extensive collection of works by impressionists.
At the end of the work, the canvas was successfully sold to the artist Anna Bosch. Subsequently, it was acquired by collector Sergei Schukin. In the process of nationalization, the painting was seized and placed in the Museum of New Western Painting, from which the "Red Vineyards in Arles" was transferred to the Pushkin Museum, where it remains to this day.