In his last months of life, Van Gogh made over 70 paintings. It was at this time, living in Auvers on the outskirts of Paris, that Van Gogh wrote to his estranged friend Gauguin, describing his current project:
"I am trying to do some studies of wheat . . . nothing but ears of wheat with green-blue stalks, long leaves like ribbons of green shot with pink, ears that are just turning yellow, edged with the pale pink of the dusty bloom—a pink bindweed at the bottom twisted round a stem. Over that, against a vivid yet tranquil background, I should like to paint some portraits."
Van Gogh did paint portraits, including two quite meditations of a young woman — "a peasant woman, big yellow hat with a knot of sky-blue ribbons . . . "