From Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza:
In April 1885, while concentrating on the series devoted to the Potato Eaters, a tribute to the country folk of Brabant ,Van Gogh wrote to his brother, “I am also working on a red sunset.” Similarly, that same August he mentions among his most recent paintings “an evening effect after sunset.” Some authors have identified this sunset with the landscape belonging to a Swiss private collection, but it could also be the painting in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.
As in the portraits of country folk eating in a shadowy room, this landscape, which is almost nocturnal, allows Van Gogh to paint the darkness he so admired in seventeenth-century Netherlandish painting . In this first Dutch period which preceded his move to Paris, where his palette became more luminous and colourful owing to the influence of the new artistic trends that successively emerged around him ,Van Gogh’s style is characterised by a realism with strong tenebrist undertones. Paloma Alarcó
To Theo van Gogh. Cuesmes, Friday, 20 August 1880.
If I’m not mistaken, you should still have Millet’s ‘The labours of the fields’. Would you be so kind as to lend them to me for a short while, and to send them to me by post?
You should know that I’m sketching large drawings after Millet, and that I’ve done The four times of the day, as well as The sower.
Well, if you saw them perhaps you wouldn’t be too unhappy with them. Now, if you’d like to send me The labours of the fields, perhaps you could also add some other sheets by or after Millet, J. Breton, Feyen-Perrin, &c. Don’t buy any specially, but lend me what you may have.
Send me what you can, and don’t have any fears on my account. If only I can go on working, I’ll recover somehow. But you’d be a great help to me by doing this. If you pay a visit to Holland sooner or later, I hope you won’t pass by without coming to see the scratches.
I’m writing to you while drawing and I’m in a hurry to get back to it, so good-night, and send the sheets as soon as possible, and believe me
c/o Charles Decrucq
rue du Pavillon 3