Still Life with Apples is a brilliant tribute to the Age of Impressionism. Vincent van Gogh brought the artwork to life between September, 1887 and October, 1888 in Paris, France. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is currently home to the masterpiece and the Vincent van Gogh Foundation holds the right to the painting. The oil on canvas is proof that shades of blues, reds, and yellows set against a static, yet captivating background, can deliver a warm and powerful visual.
Still Life with Apples: Colours, Shapes, and Depth
The artwork is a captivating explosion of dark shades and tones. The artist plays with shades of dark blues and greens to outline the still background. You'll notice hints of yellows and reds, which intertwine with the solid surface. These accents suggest a mirroring of the painting's focal points, respectively the apples. Viewers may interpret the surface as being smooth and reflective. The artist extends the life found in the apples into the background.
The centrepieces of the painting are the beautifully represented apples. Van Gogh creates a contrast between the exquisitely perfect shapes of the fruits and the sharp contours of the green and blue surface.
Unity is present throughout all the elements of the painting. Van Gogh added brushstrokes in yellow, orange, pink, and red to the background's accents of green and blue. Then, the artist used the same colour shades for the apples, which are set in the foreground, in reverse. First, Van Gogh used the warmer tones, then he cooled the scene with vibrating blues and greens. The use of the same colours in opposite manners provides a certain dynamic to the artwork. It's a dance of warm and cold, a dialogue between movement of life and the stillness of nature. Although the scene appears to be still, the brushstrokes add a unique dynamic to the painting in its entirety. Viewers can enjoy a blissful escape from the complexity of life itself and enter a universe where minimalism, stillness, and peace govern.
Vincent van Gogh's Still Life with Apples overcomes the battle and intensity of characters, houses, streets, and skies. The artist understands the overwhelm, which too many elements and figures can cause to viewers. Van Gogh aims for clarity and simplicity and is determined to convey his message even through the explicit dimensions of the canvas, which measures 46 cm x 61.5 cm. In such an exact and perfectly calculated size, van Gogh manages to include the culmination of autumn's richness.