Tracey Emin: It's clear to see - his time was running out

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Towards the end of Van Gogh's life, to say he was painting like a lunatic would be an understatement. His mood swings were violently out of control and they varied by the hour, from extreme highs to extreme lows.

He painted feverishly and manically to obsession. He knew he was approaching the end of his life. It was as though time was running out. The paintings he did of fields were not landscapes, but a representation of his mood, almost like a self portrait. Crows Over Wheatfields has long been thought to be the last painting he ever made before he committed suicide. It suits us to believe this, as it is crazy and gestural, but The Fields is almost soft and gentle in comparison.

It's light, breezy and summery. You can almost feel the sun, as it dances across the wheat. The little red dots I presume are poppies. But of course, not to be too corny, they could also represent blood. Blood spilling over an idyllic scene, which of course Van Gogh was planning all along. There is nothing violent or sinister about this painting. It's almost heavenly, as though he has given up the fight, lain back among the fields and watched his soul rise to the heavens.

The decision had already been made. He's beyond everything which kept him tied to agony, and the ascension of his soul has begun.