Van Gogh described this drawing at length to his friend and fellow artist Émile Bernard:
'an enormous stretch of flat country, a bird's eye view of it seen from the top of a hill - vineyards and fields of newly reaped wheat. All this multiplied in endless repetition, stretching away towards the horizon like the surface of a sea, bordered by the little hills of the Crau. It does not have a Japanese look, and yet it is the most Japanese thing I have done: a microscopic figure of a labourer, a little train running across the wheat field is all the animation there is in it'.
In another letter to his brother Theo he stated that 'the two views of the Crau... are the best things I have done in pen and ink'. The companion view he mentions is in the van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.