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The Siesta

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Vincent van Gogh painted The Siesta in 1890 while in the asylum at St. Rémy. When recovering from his breakdowns, Van Gogh was quite normal and was able to continue to paint. Van Gogh had an enduring love of the artist Jean Francois Millet and made several painted copies of Millet's etchings while in the asylum. The Siesta is one of them.

The Siesta captures the serenity of a noon-time nap. The heat of the day is unoppressive while the couple rests in the shade of the haystack they've made. As in all Van Gogh's work, the elements are consciously symbolic.

Van Gogh - The Siesta
The Siesta
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The man's shoes are temporarily off, symbolizing rest from his earnest progress through life. The sickles lie close together, a reflection of the comfortable intimacy of the couple.

The Siesta
's multi-dimensional brushstrokes
express freedom from tension. The sky is an untroubled and un-turbulent blue. The loose brushwork of the foreground stubble enhances the relaxed mood of this lyrical painting.

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