Yet the picture actually owes far more to the geometric style of Paul Cézanne in the treatment of the farm (known traditionally as a mas), and of the cypress trees that are typical of the region. In the foreground, a harvest of abundance is suggested by the bold brush strokes and warm hues applied to the bulging haystack, while the unique light of the Midi is reflected off every surface, altering and enhancing colours. The rural scene can be viewed as an organised whole, where Gauguin seeks to bend nature to his will. Paul Gauguin was at first associated with the Impressionists, but soon rejected their more-literal portrayals, and started to play with palettes and shapes.

In the 1880s, he moved from Paris to Pont-Aven in Brittany, and then on to Provence, where he continued to harness nature to his own vision in works such as Landscape near Arles. While van Gogh wished to establish an artists' community in the south of France, Gauguin yearned for an unsophisticated environment where he could explore primitive art, which he considered the purest kind. He left Arles in December 1888 and travelled to French Polynesia, staying for ten years. The colours and style of his compositions while living there are a continuation of his experiments in Provence, already evident in Landscape near Arles, with its tropical shades and simple outlines.

Although he always strove for a fresh approach, Gaugin was not afraid to take and learn from other artists as he developed his own unique creativity. His relationship with van Gogh was not so important for his artistic development as was his admiration for Cézanne, but the association in Arles was a positive one for them both. In fact, Landscape in Arles was painted on linen canvas stretched for him by van Gogh, who particularly liked this painting. Like many artists, Paul Gauguin didn't receive the recognition he deserved in his lifetime, but he influenced the likes of Picasso, Braque, and Matisse, with his ideas feeding into movements such as Cubism and Fauvism. He believed that it was impossible to exaggerate in art, and that only extremes would lead to progress. Landscape in Arles, now in the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indiana, is an early part of his journey in that direction.

Landscape near Arles in Detail Paul Gauguin