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Shape and background
The artwork employed in the ‘Enclosed Field Behind Saint-Paul Hospital’ comprises of vertically arranged objects. On the right side is the structure that represents the hospital, at the left side is a plantation, both of them are line drawings paint in black. The fore front is overlapped with an artwork which represents a large rectangle which seems to be a field with a greyish background.
In the middle of the drawing, there is a tree-like structure that has grayish background which seems to make the entire structure remain outstandingly attractive. In the field composition, Vincent van Gogh used bright colors and an intense black line which outlines the field and the hospital.
It is quite possible that this prevalent use of colors in the line is intended to push the object on the two-dimensional space, making it well illustrated (van Gogh). The lines have been made with a pastel medium, with its less than solid appearance. The overall use of color and shape is simplistic, yet appropriate to the nature of the surrounding.
Clarity and precision
Although the background of the artwork has more geometric shapes and the foreground has single shape indicating variety, Vincent has achieved a sense of unity with his use of illustrations. The use of bold vertical lines here appears to be more carefully planned, showing the precision of the artist and the background is carefully applied. On the foreground, the lines are vertical, but not straight and present a zigzag shape.
The background lines are curved to clearly illustrate the shape of the clouds. At the far right background, Vincent used short lines vertically arranged on the top of each other in order to describe a valley-like background. Vincent also used horizontal straight lines to represent what seems to be a fence separating the field from the hospital ground. Thin short lines are used in this artwork to show the distance in between the fore and background (van Gogh).
The grey circles horizontally drawn at the background across the tops of the painting are also painted as if they are left unfinished; this shows Vincent’s accuracy in drawing, and truthfully creates the likeness of a nature. He tightly lined the foreground, and expansively lined the interior part of the drawing. Lines were clearly used to explain and illustrate the contour of the field as it was seen. He used black ink to draw tight lines which represented concentration of content in the artwork.
Use of expansive lines in the drawing gives the work a feeling of action and enthusiasm, unlike the feeling of easiness in carefully drawn lines. His technique to place the lines varies in this artwork. At times, the lines are carefully placed on the top of each other creating a higher ground (van Gogh).
In other cases, Vincent van Gogh application of the lines seems more erratic and quick such as the grey background. The lines are not placed in a constant manner, they changes from one aspect to another. They are dynamic all through the artwork where changes in size, length, and even thickness. It’s not possible to predict the direction of the line with, and where it will face, as he (Vincent) chose the position of the line objectively in order to illustrate the meaning of his subject.
He used implied lines to illustrate a building structure placed at the far right end of the artwork. The contours are used to articulate the overview of the field in the drawing and portray the intended message meant. The rhythm of the drawing has been illustrated by the use of texture and patterns in the work which associate the surrounding of the work.
Van Gogh, Vincent. Enclosed Field Behind Saint-Paul Hospital. 1889. Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Munich, Germany, Europe.