Vincent's path to his artistic maturity is long and includes many copies from the masters. In 1889 his mental health becomes critical. For long periods in Arles or in the asylum at Saint-Rémy he can no longer go outdoors and has no more models. This interpreter of nature must now content himself with images. He undertakes a systematic copy of the two great series of wood engravings by Millet, the Quatre Heures du Jour and the ten Travaux des Champs.
The drawings made by Vincent are very similar to Millet's originals but the works are completely re-interpreted by the balance of the colors. The deep blue of the sky and the gold of the wheat fields are skilfully highlighted by the softer colors of the clothes.
The harvester by Millet was certainly one of Vincent's favorite themes. Seen from behind, this very tall peasant is bent to mow the corn. In the Christian tradition the scythe is the instrument of death, translated more positively by Vincent as a symbol of the position of the harvest in the inexorable cycle of life.
On June 27 in London, Christie's sells Le Moissonneur (d'après Millet), oil on canvas 43 x 24 cm painted by Vincent in September 1889, lot 6 estimated £ 12,5M. The image below is shared by Wikimedia.
SOLD for £ 24M including premium