Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Ravine depicts a wild and melancholic subject, reflective of his emotional and spiritual state during the autumn of 1889 near the asylum in Saint-Rémy. Despite its somber nature, van Gogh enjoyed working in such places, as evidenced in this piece. The painting is part of a larger series of artworks that van Gogh created during the last year of his life when he completed over 2100 works, including 860 oil paintings and 1300 watercolors, drawings, and sketches.
The Ravine showcases van Gogh’s signature style with bold brushstrokes and vivid colors. It portrays a landscape featuring a deep ravine with tall trees and rocks. The bright blue sky adds contrast to the earthy colors of the rocks while conveying hope amidst melancholia. This combination reflects van Gogh’s complex mental state as he grappled with intense emotions throughout his artistic career.
Today, The Ravine can be found in the Impressionist Room at the Museum of Fine Arts. Its striking depiction has earned it high praise as one of Van Gogh’s most profound works that highlights his struggle with sadness and anxiety that ultimately led to his death by suicide one year later.