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Vincent van Gogh painted waterside scenes with as much gusto as he did potato fields and orchards. No surprise there. The Dutch post-Impressionist master had great empathy for the poor folks whose work was related to water — the fisherman, the bargeman, the stevedore. But he also held a fascination for the sea as well as for rivers and canals. As the following oil paintings suggest, he saw water both as a means of sustenance for the working class and a source of calm for his troubled soul.

The Stevedores in Arles (Coal Barges), 1888
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Fishing Boats on the beach at Saintes-Maries, 1888
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Bank of the Seine, 1887
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Courtesy of the Google Art Project/ Google Cultural Institute

The Bridge of Langlois at Arles with Laundresses, 1888
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Fishing in Spring, the Pont de Clichy (Asnières), 1887
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Rowing Boats on the Banks of the Oise, 1890
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Courtesy of WikiArt: Visual Art Encyclopedia

The Bridge at Trinquetaille, 1888
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Courtesy of WikiArt: Visual Art Encyclopedia

Walk Along the Banks of the Seine Near Asnières, 1887
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Courtesy of WikiArt: Visual Art Encyclopedia

~ Barista Uno

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