|Pollard Willows with Setting Sun, Vincent van Gogh, 1888|
|Pollard Willows, Vincent van Gogh|
letter sketch, October 1881
For my second offering in the "Willow in Art" series, Vincent van Gogh, in the same manner as Monet, also did a series of willow pieces. Most were done in the 1880's, inspired by the pollard willows that grew in and around Etten, the small village in the south of The Netherlands, where van Gogh started his career as an artist. I wasn't quite sure exactly what a "pollard willow" was, and after Googling, learned it was simply a willow which had been severely cut back, to promote growth. I have to admit, these poor pollard willows have definitely been hacked back. I didn't recognize them without their graceful branches, but they certainly were a marvelously quirky inspiration for the brilliant van Gogh.
|Pollard Willows, Vincent van Gogh, 1889|
Don't you love the textures here?
|Pollard Willows, letter to Theo, August 1, 1882|
(click to enlarge)
I absolutely adore hand illustrated correspondence. This particular willow piece graces a letter to Van Gogh's brother, Theo,1882. If you enjoy the art of letter writing, I highly recommend Illustrated Letters, Artists and Writers Correspond, edited by Roselyne de Ayala and Jean-Pierre Gueng, a wonderful book, with over 60 full color spreads of reproductions of delightful letters and doodles by artists and writers from the 19th and 20th centuries. I hate to think the lovely art of hand written correspondence is quickly becoming a thing of the past. It's high time to resurrect the habit before it's too late, don't you think?
|Pollard Willow, Vincent van Gogh, watercolor, July 27, 1882|