In theory, the subject should have been the Last Supper. However, the final version focused on rural life and shows Van Gogh's intimate relationship with nature.
The storm has moved away from the flock. The shepherd raises his staff to let the animals know that the march goes on.
According to art historian Sjraar van Heugten, there is a particular focus on the human figure here. Van Gogh's aim was to become skilled enough in depicting the anatomical form to create complex scenes of different rural activities.
The dark colors typical of his work during this era in the Netherlands are expressive of Van Gogh's faith, since his father was a Protestant pastor. The palette makes reference to the importance of the land.
In an interpretation that references the Holy Scriptures, this shepherd looks out for his flock and pays special attention to the black, wayward sheep.
The artist is at one with his environment and immersed within it. It is a contemplation of nature, and of human nature. The painting is from Van Gogh's important formative period, before he went on to brighten his palette in France.
Después de la tormenta by Vincent van GoghMuseo Soumaya.Fundación Carlos Slim
Based on texts by Alfonso Miranda Márquez and Eva María Ayala Canseco in the "Libro Museo Soumaya" (Soumaya Museum Book), Volume II. Soumaya Museum, Carlos Slim Foundation.