Carafe and Dish with Citrus Fruit, Vincent van Gogh, February-March 1887

Painting a glass object is difficult. Van Gogh made the challenge even greater, choosing an elaborate carafe and decorative wallpaper. This made it necessary for him to render the colourful reflections in the glass.

The tabletop underneath the dish of lemons is tilted upward. This is not a mistake, but a choice. Van Gogh was trying out a perspective technique he had learned from Japanese woodcuts. Their strong diagonals fascinated him. Vincent signed and dated this still life. He did that only when he was satisfied with his work.
Oil on canvas, 46.3 cm x 38.4 cm
Source: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands