Laboureur dans un Champ (worker in a field),
by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890),
Painted in Saint Rémy, France, early September 1889,
© Christie's

Laboureur dans un Champ (worker in a field),
by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890),
Painted in Saint Rémy, France, early September 1889,
© Christie's

Gospel of 29 April 2019

'Shoulder my yoke and learn from me'

Matthew 11:25-30

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

Reflection on the Painting

During 1889, Vincent Van Gogh was hospitalised and treated for mental health issues. This painting was done a few days after he was released from hospital, and we see a gentle Vincent here at work, rediscovering the colours, landscapes, and nature around him. Having begun this painting of a ploughman tilling the soil of a plot of land during the final days of August 1889, the artist completed it on 2 September. Wonderful to know the exact date that this was completed.

The brush strokes still show an anxiousness present in the artist, with angular lines, rather than flee flowing ones. It shows a farmer labourer, maybe overburdened, and the artist trying to find rest for his soul through painting. ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.'
This painting sold for $81 million in 2017 at Christie's New York.

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