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Still Life, November 1884

Vincent van Gogh

Dutch, 1853-1890
Oil on canvas
15-3/4 x 22-1/4 in. (40.0 x 56.5 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1972.44.P
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Having run out of money and job prospects, in late 1883 Vincent van Gogh moved in with his recently relocated family. His residence in the small village of Nuenen, in the southern Netherlands, was not as cloistered as one would expect for a 30-year-old who had lived over the past decade in such cities as Paris, Amsterdam and London. In fact, in Neunen van Gogh found a small group of artists to instruct in painting, and he relished this new artistic community. As he took on the same type of work that he meted out to his students—still lifes and figure studies—many of his canvases from this period came to resemble exercises. This carefully ordered composition is one such still life, one of 15 painted in November 1884. With four different vessels set around a centrally placed wine bottle, the balanced arrangement is a study of circular forms and subtle tonalities.

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