Double-square paintings is a painting made on uncommonly large canvases, which have one dimension that is twice the size of the other. Vincent van Gogh used 50 cm × 100 cm (20 in × 39 in) double-squares almost exclusively during the final weeks of his life in Auvers, in June and July 1890. Other artists who have painted double-square canvases include Charles-François Daubigny, Puvis de Chavannes, and Ivon Hitchens.
In a double-square painting, one dimension of the canvas is twice the size of the other, so that the canvas is the shape of two adjoining squares. The overall effect of this is stability, and the compositional challenge is to avoid monotony.[further explanation needed]
Prior to Van Gogh, artists such as Charles-François Daubigny and Puvis de Chavannes had used canvases of similar proportions, and Van Gogh was aware of this.
Van Gogh's Double-square canvases
Vincent van Gogh used double-squares almost exclusively during the final weeks of his life in Auvers, in June and July 1890. To arrive at this size, Van Gogh combined the legs of two standard sizes: the 50 cm leg from a size 12 and the 100 cm leg of a size 40 stretcher. The result was a double-square of 50 cm × 100 cm (20 in × 39 in), and from this size, easily the square could be derived by using two 50 cm legs. His choice of this size points into another direction from previous artists; his double-squares can easily be combined with size 30 canvases to more elaborated décorations,[further explanation needed] and his squares extend these possibilities.
Sheaves of Wheat, 1890, Dallas Museum of Art (F771)
Field with Stacks of Grain, July 1890, Beyeler Foundation, Riehen, Switzerland (F809)
Undergrowth with Two Figures, June 1890, Cincinnati Museum of Art
Subsequent uses of the dimensions
Ivon Hitchens worked primarily in double-squares at certain periods in his career.
- These terms were coined by Ronald Pickvance, one of the leading experts in Van Gogh-research.
- Hammacher, A. M. The Ten Creative Years of Vincent van Gogh, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1968. page 175
- Pickvance, Ronald:
- Zemel, Carol: