Between May 1889 and May 1890, Vincent painted olive trees at least 15 times. Some of the artist’s famous olive tree paintings are Olive Trees in a Mountainous Landscape, Olive Grove, Olive Grove II, and Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun. In these paintings, he showed how man interacts with nature and the effects that the interactions have. The Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun, inspired by Paul Gaugin, piques viewers’ interest with the beautifully combined colours on the oil and canvas painting.
The painting consists of three major colours: yellow, green, and solid brown, with blue traces on the ground. Vincent shows the sun brightly shining in a beautiful yellow colour, the trees colourfully green, and the browning grass or vegetation below the trees. Closely looking at the trees, the audience notices the shadows cast on the ground by the enormous trees.
Most interpretations state that the painting showed a theme of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane when he faced betrayal by Judas. However, the profound painter eliminates any reference to Jesus in his paintings. He completed The Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun during his last year of life, 1889, and left a huge art piece. In a letter he sent to his brother Theo, Vincent revealed the connection between the olive groves and the painting series. The Starry Night, Olive Grove, and The Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun are interconnected. In the letter, he disclosed that all of them are from and painted from memory and are not photographically reproduced. With his great mastery of colour patterns and natural rhythms, Vincent painted the world from his perspective; he showed the viewers what his life was on the canvas.
In his life confined life at the asylum, Van Gogh showcased over 150 oil and canvas art. As such, this was his most productive time before his breakdowns became more rampant, and his condition worsened. This particular set of paintings showed an optimistic yet haunting and hopeful effect. He explained what he feels like to the audience. Most of the olive trees paintings were in landscape and on vibrant colour palettes. The Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun shows a bright sun shining upon nature. The sun has an orange halo that casts a light blue and black shadow on the vegetation. In the far background, the mountain peaks are visible and painted in blue, just like the shadows. It is a sign of hope that Van Gogh left for art lovers.