In May 1890, van Gogh moved from the south of France to Auvers, northwest of Paris, painting many of his finest pictures there in a feverish spurt of activity before his suicide in July. Houses at Auvers shows the
landscape of early summer. The view from above creates a flattened tapestry of shapes in which the tiled and thatched roofs of the houses form a mesmerizing patchwork of color.
Indeed, Vincent's first letters to his brother Theo from Auvers-sur-Oise were cautiously optimistic. His health was good, and he found his room comfortable. The village had a picturesque appeal; even the new homes were "radiant and sunny and covered with flowers." Unlike the writhing rhythms that characterized his landscape work at Saint-Rémy, Vincent van Gogh's first paintings at Auvers, Houses at Auvers, exhibited a new stability, seen in the strongly interlocked strokes of heavy pigment.