From Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland:
Considered one of van Gogh’s very last paintings, Field with stacks of wheat is both more rigid and at the same time more abstract than Wheatfield with cornflowers. Divided into fields of varying rhythmical structure, the brushstrokes here overlie the landscape like a grid. The picture culminates in the two large stacks of wheat that tower over the empty plateau like abandoned dwellings and thereby almost completely cut off the sky. The only living creature is a solitary crow, flying into the depths of the landscape on the left.
Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh. Paris, Saturday, 5 July 1890.
My dear Vincent,
Thanks very much for your letter. Fortunately mine brings you good news of the little one. After a few days of suffering he has started to be jolly again and no longer to cry so much. It’s thanks to the good ass’s milk we’re currently giving him. The animals come to the door, and in the morning he receives warm milk, always from the same animal. Afterwards there’s still enough for two doses, which he receives alternately with his mother’s milk, which is now coming in abundance. He looks extremely well at the moment. He must take the ass’s milk for at least a fortnight, and so we can’t go to Pissarro’s on 14 July. So I’ve taken that day to go to see Claude Monet with Valadon, who will certainly get on my nerves on that day, but I’m content to go and see the new works by Monet. There’s no reason for you to put back your arrival, not that we don’t appreciate that you wanted to come and share my pains, on the contrary, thank you, but with a patient, the fewer people there are around the better it is. So come if you like on Sunday with the first train, in the morning you’ll see Walpole Brooke, who’s coming to see your paintings at Tanguy’s, next a Japanese Buddha which I saw in a curio shop, and after that we’re going to have lunch at our place to see your studies. You can stay with us as long as you want, and you can give us advice on the arrangement of our new apartment. Dries and Annie will probably come to the ground floor, and they’ll have a little garden which we, naturally, will have the benefit of. If the two women get on with each other it promises well. Perhaps good that Dries will come to our place. I’m having a lot of luck in business, even if I haven’t sold paintings for 800,000,000,000 francs, but among other things I’ve sold two Gauguins, for which I’ve sent him the amount. Pissarro wrote to me that he wasn’t able to pay his rent, I’m going to send him a little advance on the business we’ll do. You see, his exhibition really brought him in something, but still just to plug the holes. He’s had an abscess on the eye. Poor old chap!
Good-day to you brother, we’re counting on seeing you on Sunday. Warm regards from Jo, and the little one is smiling at you like before he was ill. Good handshake from your brother who loves you.
Regards to Dr Gachet and his family.
The croquis of the landscape à la Michel is promising, and the portrait must be superb.