The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
At 3 am one late-September morning in 1883 Vincent van Gogh set out with his landlord in a donkey cart from Hoogeveen, a town in the northeastern Netherlands province of Drenthe, en route to Zweeloo, a summer artist's colony where he had heard Max Liebermann (1847-1935) was painting. After jolting across a bleak and barren heath for three hours, Vincent arrived in Zweeloo at dawn only to be informed that not only was Liebermann not there, but that there was not a single painter still working in the village; moreover, none were expected, as no one ever painted there in the winter (something Vincent had been planning to do). Vincent did not wait for his return transportation; he walked the entire road along the dike back to Hoogeveen, consoling himself with the thought that he had seen the surroundings that determined the palette of Liebermann and also some of the people who were his subjects. Along the way he made sketches of the gray countryside. In a letter to Theo he rhapsodized about the poplars and their yellow leaves, the apple and lime trees and the birches, the bronze oak leaves, the gold green moss, the lilac sky “harmonizing in a gamut of delicate gray,” the dark lilac gray ground with reddish, bluish, or yellowish tones, whites shimmering with reds, blues, and yellows (No. 340).
Southgate MT. Eva. JAMA. 2007;298(6):601. doi:10.1001/jama.298.6.601