Cart with Black Ox


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Cart with Black Ox by Vincent van Gogh
Cart with Black Ox
Oil on canvas
60 × 80 cm (23.5 × 31.5 in)
Portland Art Museum
Portland
Oregon
U. S. A.
North America
Painted July 1884, Nuenen
F 39, JH 505

"The last things I did are a couple of rather large studies of ox-carts, a black ox and a red and white one."
Letter to Theo van Gogh, circa 20 July 1884

Vincent spends most of his letter writing time in this period updating Theo on the paintings of weavers working at their looms, but here he mentions this painting and also Cart with Red and White Ox (F 38, JH 504). In 2010 an Oregon university x-rayed this work and revealed that it was painted on a very finely woven canvas, unlike many of Vincent's works at this time. This would have been an expensive canvas for him to use and perhaps indicates his ambition or intention, that this was to be an important piece. In the letter to Theo he calls the works "studies" but remember, though we might think of a study as a quick practice work, this is what Vincent often called formal paintings.

ALSO KNOWN AS
Ox Cart: Spotted Black Ox

PROVENANCE
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam (1903-4);
L. C. Enthoven, Voorburg, Netherlands;
Sale Enthoven, Amsterdam (F. Muller) 18 May 1920;
S. van Deventer, De Steeg, Netherlands;
Van Wisselingh Art Gallery, Amsterdam;
Katz Art Gallery, Dierin (1950);
Mr. and Mrs. Julius and Cora Fohs, U.S.A. (1950);
Mr. and Mrs. Fred and Frances Sohn, Roseburg, Oregon, (Gift from the Fohs, Frances' parents);
Portland Art Museum, Oregon (Gift from the Sohns) 2007.