The painting "Cows" is one of Van Gogh's latest creations. It was written by the artist in May 1890 in the city of Auvers. Its creation was inspired by etching by Gachet, written in 1873 from the work of Jordaens from the Lille Museum. Van Gogh was so inspired by this work in black and white that the very next day he showed the finished painting “Cows” to his friend Paul-Ferdinand Gache.
The artist did not just transform it into color, he breathed his life into it, not only returning the color to the cows, but also creating a completely new environment around them, unique to Van Gogh. Now, five mahogany cows grazed in a meadow with bright saturated - green grass, on green - turquoise, as if sunlit, background.
The picture fascinates with its extraordinary contrast, dynamism, color and energetic modulation of the color scheme.
Van Gogh only conditionally, approximately reproduced the style of writing artists of the 17th century, he was more impressed by the work of Jordaens with its expressiveness and genius. And he patiently outlining the contours and the power of the strokes, approached the writing style of the 17th century Flemish artists, but the vibrant colors and accented strokes convey the personality of Vincent Van Gogh. The whole palette of colors of the picture, the desire for purity of tone, the forcing of color, the thirst for sunlight, directly indicates that this is the creation of a great artist.
The painting “Cows” displayed dynamism, color, saturation, brightness, decorativeness, and symbolism, revealing the essence of Van Gogh’s writing style. He did not copy the work of another author, but simply revealed in it the northern nature of his soul.
Today, the painting “Cows” is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Lille, France.
Painting by Roerich Sky Battle