Named by Van Gogh himself, the painting depicts the first harvest of the year in Arles, France. The painting underscores van Gogh’s understanding of spatial organization; the harvested wheat in the foreground and the purpleblue mountains against a turquoise sky. A biblical man at heart, van Gogh believed in empathizing with manual workers, which are depicted here working under the blazing sun. The panoramic approach he adopts in this painting seeks to mirror the grandeur of Paul Cezanne.
“And mind my dear fellow, Paris is Paris, there is but one Paris and however hard living may be here and if it became worse and harder even – the french air clears up the brain and does one good – a world of good.” Vincent van Gogh to Horace Mann Livens. Paris, September or October 1886