Vincent van Gogh, "Wheatfield with Crows," 1890. 50.2 cm × 103 cm (19.9 in × 40.6 in). Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

This Painting Crushed Me And Brought Me To Tears

Several years ago at The Frist Art Museum, I saw van Gogh’s “Wheat Field with Crows.” The sky was so heavy it brought me to tears.

Vincent van Gogh, "Wheatfield with Crows," 1890. 50.2 cm × 103 cm (19.9 in × 40.6 in). Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh, “Wheatfield with Crows,” 1890. 50.2 cm × 103 cm (19.9 in × 40.6 in). Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

I learned that it was one of van Gogh’s last paintings, if not THE last painting he made. (Some say it is his “suicide note” written in paint.) Maybe it was this knowledge that moved me so much, since he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the same field where he painted this.

I could see the heaviness on his heart.

The weariness.

The oppressive sky pushing down on the wheat.

The crows are harbingers of doom or death.

When the sky holds you down, you can’t move. You’re trapped. I’ve never felt this weighed down by life, but I can relate to it.

I felt suffocated, and I wept.

(Another painting that moved me is Kenneth Noland’s “Split”.)