Minor losses are seen at the edges, and some of the sharp tips of impasto have broken in the past. Some examples in The Met’s collection are: First Steps, after Millet (64.165.2), Irises (58.187) and Vase of Roses (1993.400.5). See Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. Like the wheat husk found in Wheat Field with Cypresses (see note 3 above), Cypresses bears material evidence of having been painted outside: tiny pieces of gravel are embedded in the paint at the bottom of the painting. See Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. Despite the heavy load of paint, the surface has little in the way of craquelure. 800, in which Van Gogh wrote: "I’ve redone the canvas of the Bedroom (F482, Art Institute of Chicago). This will also be the case with other studies of mine that were painted very quickly and with a thick impasto. In the sky of the National Gallery version, where the zinc white is mixed with cobalt blue, these areas are free of cracks (cobalt pigment is known to act as a siccative for oil paint); the same appears to be the case in The Met’s painting: see Ashok Roy, in "Vincent van Gogh’s ‘A Cornfield, with Cypresses’," National Gallery Technical Bulletin 11 (1987), pp. 13. John Leighton et al., "Vincent van Gogh’s ‘A Cornfield, with Cypresses’," National Gallery Technical Bulletin 11 (1987), pp. Besides, this thin canvas perishes after a while and can’t take a lot of impasto." On Van Gogh’s use of zinc white see Muriel Geldof, Luc Megans, and Johanna Salvant, "Van Gogh’s palette in Arles, Saint-Rémy and Auvers-sur-Oise,", in Vellekoop et al. The researchers found that adults made an average of 63 fixations on the surface of the paintings during the 30 second viewing period, while children made an average of 53 fixations.
Like The Met’s painting, the National Gallery version shows considerable variation in the thickness and texture of the paint but is much less heavily worked: “the rapidly achieved impasto is quite distinct from the more heavily wrought surfaces of the earlier Cypresses and A Cornfield [Wheatfield], with Cypresses.” X-radiographs of the two paintings show this difference very clearly; for example, the sky in The Met’s painting features varied brushwork and a dense application of paint in the clouds, while the sky in the National Gallery painting has a more overall and patterned appearance; additionally, as seen in the X-radiographs, in The Met’s painting the mountains and fields register very strongly relative to the cypresses; in the National Gallery painting there is much less contrast of absorption in these areas. Whereas there is no indication of hesitation or apparent changes in The Met’s painting, the National Gallery study presented analytical evidence of minor modifications to the compositional design of their painting to support their view that it was not the first of the two paintings, but rather that it evolved in the studio as a later version of the theme. The National Gallery painting also exhibits weave impressions from stacking or rolling; it is not surprising that these are much more extensive than those seen in the impasto of The Met’s painting, given that the latter had had three months longer to dry before shipping.[Charlotte Hale 2016] See Vellekoop 2005, p. 784. Further evidence that Van Gogh painted Wheat Field with Cypresses out of doors, in front of the motif, was provided by a wheat husk found embedded in the paint: as described to the present writer by Hubertus von Sonnenberg, former Chairman of the Department of Paintings Conservation, who surface-cleaned the painting when it arrived at The Met in 1993. See Ella Hendriks et al., "Automated Thread Counting and the Studio Practice Project," in Van Gogh’s Studio Practice, ed. It was painted so quickly and dried in such a way that, as the thinner evaporated immediately, the painting doesn’t adhere at all firmly to the canvas. The canvas has the distinctive asymmetrical weave-count of toile ordinaire from the Paris firm of Tasset et L’Hôte that the artist requested in numerous letters to his brother Theo, and used almost exclusively from the summer of 1888 until his death in July 1890. the artist's brother, Theo van Gogh, Paris (1889–d. 28 (as "Das Getreidefeld," annotated "Kalligraphisch knorrige Wolken"). The canvas arrived in rolls of 5 or 10 meters, and Van Gogh would cut and stretch his supports on stretching frames for painting, later removing them and rolling or stacking loose canvases to send to Theo. 1891; sent to him by the artist on September 28, 1889); his widow, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, Amsterdam, in trust for their son, Vincent Willem van Gogh (1891–1900; sold through Julien Leclercq, Paris, with seven other works for Fr 9,400 to Schuffenecker); Émile Schuffenecker (1900–at least 1901); Louis-Alexandre Berthier, prince de Wagram, Paris (ca. Wheat Field with Cypresses is Van Gogh’s initial study from nature of a composition that he repeated in three other versions: a large reed-pen drawing (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 47.1 x 62.3 cm), and two painted studio variants: one of the same format, now in the National Gallery, London, and a “reduction” (51.4 x 64.8 cm) made for the artist’s mother and sister, now in a private collection. The reed-pen drawing was sent to Theo on July 2nd, establishing a terminus ante quem for the initial painting. The dependence of the drawing on The Met’s painting is evidenced by the repetition of a stroke of green paint on the lower left of the wheat field that is not seen in the two other painted versions.The Met’s painting support corresponds to a standard sized 30 figure, a format that Van Gogh used frequently.