59. Landscape with Horses
cm. Owner's frame
This, the third and last of his late landscape series, shows changes of style which connect it closely to his Kitchen Scene, which was probably his last composition, and to his last still life series. It suggests that he was now finding it necessary to return to develop some of his earlier symbolic ideas. There is a flattening of perspective, as though he now wanted his paintings to be more obviously distanced from the temporary appearance of things. His horses, figures, cows or trees present themselves in a more elemental way - rather in the manner that animals used to illustrate alphabets for young children are to stand for all members of their species. In this painting, his interest in, even identification with, draught horses, reaches its climax and, having given the elements of his composition a symbolic form, he was later able to refer back to some of them in another composition. The black and white cows (in a painting over the fire place), and the sheep dog, are quoted in Kitchen Scene, and the girl talking to the dog seems to be a member of the family at table in the same painting. Having completed the landscapes, therefore, the world he had created in them he continued to develop up to the end of his life as an artist.