Noon: Rest from Work, after Jean-François Millet by Vincent van Gogh

    Published:January 14, 2015DOI:
        About the cover:
        John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) created Noon After Jean-François Millet in 1875. This image was created when Sargent was 19 years old, and it is an obvious mirror image of the Millet picture. In fact, it is probably a copy of an engraving by Adrien Lavieille, who produced a mirror image of the Millet picture in 1873. Sargent had been a student at L'École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
        Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) worked and studied in Paris fairly late in his short career, between 1886 and 1888 during which time he had contact with many well-known artists and soon-to-be well-known artists. Van Gogh, who had a history of mental and/or neurologic illness,
        • Hughes J.R.
        A reappraisal of the possible seizures of Vincent van Gogh.
        was a patient in Saint Paul of Mausole Monastery in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, between May 1889 and May 1890. This monastery, built in the 11th century, had been converted into a psychiatric hospital in the mid-1800s. His psychiatrist, Dr Théophile Peyron, was a practitioner of Art Therapy. Van Gogh was provided 3 rooms: 1 for sleeping, 1 for painting, and 1 for storing his works. During this year he completed approximately 150 oil paintings and 150 drawings: an astonishing average of 1 work a day. It is during this perhaps manic phase that Siesta was painted. Van Gogh copied this image from the aforementioned engraving by Adrien Lavieille. In fact, van Gogh copied three other images from the Lavieille engravings of the series Four Times of the Day by Millet. Van Gogh died at the age of 37 years as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound shortly after leaving the hospital.
        Copying famous works was a way of paying homage. All four artists were paying homage to the rejuvenation that comes with sleep.
        Meir H. Kryger, MD
        Art Editor


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