There is something intrinsically fresh, immediate, and approachable about Van Gogh’s sous-bois paintings. Among his most celebrated and finest works, they beautifully capture the subtle and transient effects of light on foliage and the intimate experience of emersion in woods. Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth examines closely the relation of the artist’s work to the wider tradition of the sous-bois in 19th-century painting. It also looks at his use of painting as a metaphor for the dynamism, vitality, and ever-changing face of nature, as presented under the forest canopy.
Through 30 colour plates of works of art by Van Gogh and the colleagues who inspired him—including Daubigny, Monet, and Gauguin—this volume leads to a fuller understanding of Van Gogh’s special contribution to the sous-bois enre. Four essays by leading scholars present extensive new research on the history of the sous-bois as a theme, Van Gogh’s relationship with the Barbizon and Impressionist schools, and the Cincinnati Art Museum’s own Undergrowth with Two Figures, an acknowledged masterpiece of the artist’s late career.
Cornelia Homburg is an independent art historian and curator who specialises in the oeuvre of Vincent van Gogh.
Simon Kelly is Curator and Head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Laura Prins is an independent writer and researcher who specialises in 19th-century art and the work of Vincent van Gogh.
Jenny Reynaerts is Senior Curator of 18th and 19th Century Paintings at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.