Last month, September 2007, Moth and I went to Arles in southern France for a van Gogh hunting trip. One of the great thrills for me was to find that the night time view of the Rhone that Vincent painted…
…was virtually unchanged from Vincent’s time. Here’s a photo of it that Moth took:
As is so often the case, the camera simply can’t take in the whole scene and squash the space in the same way the human eye can, let alone translate it into two dimensions and a pleasing composition. So while I was there, I made my own quick sketch of it with Vincent’s own composition high in my mind as I worked:
Seeing what Vincent saw more or less unchanged made a great impression on me and I wanted to have a go at the scene myself. Readers will know that only rarely do I make pictures of things I haven’t seen or experienced personally, so my final version (below) isn’t merely a copy or reworking of Vincent’s painting, it’s a response to what I saw, and how I felt about the scene which Vincent immortalised in 1888. Here it is:
Yesterday I completed an edition of six drypoints* (a kind of engraving) each washed with watercolour. They measure 400mm x 300mm, the same size as my previous drypoint of Vincent’s cafe terrace.
As a pair, Vincent’s cafe terrace and Vincent’s starry night over the Rhone look absolutely wonderful:
A 10% discount from the unframed price is available for collectors who’d like to buy a pair. Contact me for details!
*Wondering what a drypoint is?