Skip Navigation

Cypresses (Les Cyprès)

Vincent van Gogh

European Art

This drawing dates from Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 stay at a psychiatric asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, during a period when he became fascinated with the dark, obelisk-like forms of cypress trees. He sent it to his brother Theo in July of that year as a way to “show” him what the paintings he was working on looked like. The canvas that corresponds to this drawing is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Not only is Brooklyn’s work on paper a “reproduction” in the sense that it was made to represent a painting, but it also draws from the visual vocabulary of the inexpensive contemporary prints that van Gogh adored, using an abbreviated language of dots and dashes to communicate tonal effects. He executed this and other drawings of this period with an improvised pen made from a sharpened stalk of a local reed—a technique that forced him to work quickly and assertively.
MEDIUM Brown ink and graphite on wove Latune et Cie Balcons paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES June 1889
    DIMENSIONS 24 3/8 x 18 5/8 in. (61.9 x 47.3 cm) Other: 24 1/2 x 18in. (62.2 x 45.7cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890). Cypresses (Les Cyprès), June 1889. Brown ink and graphite on wove Latune et Cie Balcons paper, 24 3/8 x 18 5/8 in. (61.9 x 47.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund, 38.123 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 38.123_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 38.123_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.