This spiral notebook was created by SBMA in honor of the exhibitionThrough Vincent's Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources on view February 27th, 2022 through May 22nd, 2022.
In a letter to his brother Theo in October 1888, Van Gogh described the inspiration of this painting, even providing a small sketch so that Theo could get a sense of the composition. He explained that the subject was inspired in part by Alphonse Daudet’s novel Tartarin of Tarascon, which features an old stagecoach, or diligence. He also discussed his technique and some of the artistic influences on the painting, including Claude Monet and Adolphe Monticelli:
Have you re-read the Tartarins yet? Ah, don’t forget to! Do you remember in Tartarin the lament of the old Tarascon diligence—that wonderful page? Well, I’ve just painted that red and green carriage in the yard of the inn . . .Tarascon Stagecoach, 1888
The two carriages very colorful: green, red, wheels yellow, black, blue, orange . . . The carriages are painted in the style of Monticelli, with impastos. You once had a very beautiful Claude Monet, of four colourful boats on a beach. Well, here it’s carriages, but the composition is of the same kind.
(La Diligence de Tarascon)Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Oil on canvas
71.4 x 92.5 cm. (28 1/8 x 36 7/16 in.)
frame: 99.5 x 119.0 x 10.5 cm. (39 3/16 x 46 7/8 x 4 1/8 in.)