Garden with Courting Couples: Square Saint-Pierre
Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, May 1887
oil on canvas,
75.0 cm x 113.0 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Van Gogh called this sunny park scene 'the painting of the garden with lovers'. Couples in love are strolling under the young chestnut trees and sitting along the winding paths.
He used a free variation on the technique of the Pointillists. They built up their compositions from dots of paint. Van Gogh instead applied small brushstrokes of varying length in different directions. This helped him to create the effect of a radiant spring day, which fit the sense of intimacy and togetherness he wished to express. He too longed for a wife and a family, but he had 'the most impossible love affairs'. He eventually resigned himself to the situation; he was devoted to his art.