Drawbridge with Carriage -- 1888
Van Gogh's vibrant, light-filled painting does something to me. And it does something of itself: it comes to freaking life! It's not simply a matter of vivified geometry and color, not only that it seems to pulse beyond the two-dimensional plane. Yes, it does that, and the viewer senses that he could step into the scene, breathe the very air. More than those things, a spiritual dimension presents itself.
The half-drowned boat is a cradle of cerulean water dreams. Time has been dismissed from this picture. We are, for a “spell,” eternal observers of an eternal riverside. The bright morning light touching the bricks and bridge scaffolding brushes our souls with an incomprehensible melancholy. Those washerwomen are not ordinary citizens of reality. No, they are strange angels extruded from evolution's durational mysteries. And the sky! That blue vault – somehow light and dark simultaneously – is the Spirit of the World holding all beauty and all strife together in a tension of possibility. My mood is one of wonder. My imagination is overwhelmed.