Excerpted from Van Gogh by Pierre Cabanne, © 1961:
Vincent painted the wheat field three times during June; on other occasions he set up his easel in front of the cypresses. “It is a splash of black in a sunny landscape, but is one of the most interesting black notes, and the most difficult to hit off exactly, that I can imagine.” The cypress was for him the symbol of the countryside in Provence, he saw it as “the equivalent– and the antithesis– of the sunflower.”
The dagger of a cypress tree jutting into the sky is a common and recognizable feature in his work. I had wondered what it represented to him.