Christie’s prestigious Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale – to be staged in London on 27 June – features a vibrant painting by Van Gogh. Titled Le moissonneur (d’après Millet), this painting is a 1889 ‘replication’ of a work by one of Van Gogh’s favourite artists Jean-François Millet.
Le moissonneur (d’après Millet), showcases a reaper at work, sweeping his scythe in the fields. The contrast between the colours is vibrant. In 1852, Millet had produced a series of 10 drawings, called Les Travaux des champs, of quietly dignified peasant figures engaged in various harvest-time labours. Van Gogh would paint all of them — seven of these are now in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
‘The Millet copies are perhaps the finest things you’ve ever done’ — Theo van Gogh writing to his brother in May 1890. More than a copy, this fantastic painting reveals Van Gogh’s talent through dynamic brushes and amazing contrasts of colours. A masterpiece.