Quote:Sunset at Montmajour depicts a dry landscape of oak trees, bushes and sky, painted with Van Gogh's familiar thick brush strokes. It can be dated to the exact day it was painted because Vincent described it in a letter to his brother, Theo, and said he painted it the previous day – July 4, 1888.
He said the painting was done "on a stony heath where small twisted oaks grow."
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Quote:The exact location Sunset depicts can be identified: it is near Arles, France, where Van Gogh was living at the time, near Montmajour hill, and the ruins of an abbey of the same name. The abbey can be seen in the background of the work, on the left side.
Researcher Meedendorp said the work was at a "transitional" moment in Van Gogh's style.
"From then on, Van Gogh increasingly felt the need to paint with more and more impasto (thick strokes using lots of paint) and more and more layers," he said.