Rather than painting landscapes from a distance ¨Van Gogh often trudged through forests for a closer view of wooded scenes. He enjoyed depicting rays of light peaking through trees in order to highlight multiple shades of green. He painted Undergrowth as a case in point while inspecting an overgrown garden on the grounds of a mental asylum he had checked himself into. The asylum provided him with an extra room which he used as a studio to father this work of art.
‘Since I’ve been here,’ he wrote to his brother Theo, ‘the neglected garden planted with tall pines under which grows tall and badly tended grass intermingled with various weeds, has provided me with enough work, and I haven’t yet gone outside.’