Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Vincent van Gogh - Flowers part 2


Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear 1889 
oil on canvas 60 x 49 cm
Van Gogh's flowers from 1887, including Vase with Lilacs, Daisies and Anemones, show flowers in a blue vase set against a soft blue and purple background. This was a period where van Gogh consciously was trying to add colour to his painting. He wrote “I painted almost nothing but flowers to accustom myself to a colour other than grey, that’s to say pink, soft or bright green, light blue, violet, yellow, orange, fine red.”

When he was painting in Arles, in the south of France, he was looking forward to his friend Gauguin coming to live and paint with him. In anticipation for his arrival Van Gogh painted Sunflowers to decorate the house. Sunflowers became a series with many canvases depicting the same subject matter. Painted in 1888 and 1889, van Gogh’s Sunflowers show a yellow vase on a table containing yellow sunflowers in different stages of life. Gauguin appreciated the gesture, and displayed some of van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings in his bedroom.

After traumatic episodes in Arles, van Gogh went to an asylum in Saint-Remy, France. In the first week he was there he painted the irises in the asylums garden. He painted Irises as a study, but when his brother Theo saw it he thought it was a marvellous painting showing Vincent’s talent for composition and use of colour and entered it in the Salon des Indépendants of 1889. Along with Sunflowers, Irises has become one of van Gogh’s most enduring and popular paintings.

In the days before he left the asylum he felt that he would not be having and mental upsets easily and wrote “I tell you, as regards work, my mind feels absolutely serene and the brushstrokes come to me and follow each other very logically.” Before he left, in May of 1890, he painted  Still Life, Vase with Roses.

The pink roses are shown contrasting against a green table and yellow green background. Just as Sunflowers has the emotion that van Gogh felt welcoming his friend Gauguin, Roses has the optimism and hopefulness attached that Vincent felt as he was leaving the asylum. Unfortunately van Gogh died just a few months later in July of 1890 from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.



For more notes and for earlier works on Van Gogh’s flower paintings see part 1 also.

This is part 2 of a 2-part post on the flower paintings of Vincent van Gogh:


1887 Two Cut Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 43.2 x 61 cm

1887 Two Cut Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 50 x 60 cm

1887 Vase with Cornflower and Poppies 
oil on canvas 80 x 67 cm

1887 Vase with Daisies and Anemones 
oil on canvas 61 x 38 cm

1887 Vase with Lilacs, Daisies and Anemones 
oil on canvas 46.5 x 37.5 cm

1887 Vase with White and Red Carnations 
oil on canvas 58 x 45.5 cm

1888 Blossoming Almond Branch in a Glass 
oil on canvas 24 x 19 cm

1888 Blossoming Almond Branch in a Glass with a Book 
oil on canvas 24 x 19 cm

1888 Bowl with Daisies 
oil on canvas 33 x 42 cm

1888 Majolica Jug with Wildflowers 
oil on canvas 55 x 46 cm

1888 Oleanders and Books 
oil on canvas 60.3 x 73.6 cm

1888 Still Life with Zinnias 
oil on canvas 64 x 49.5 cm

1888 Still Life, Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 95 x 73 cm

1888 Still Life, Vase with Oleanders and Books 
oil on canvas 60.3 x 73.6 cm

1888 Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 91 x 71 cm

1888 Three Sunflowers in a Vase 
oil on canvas 73 x 58 cm

1888 Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 92.1 x 73 cm

1889 Irises 
oil on canvas 71 x 93 cm

1889 Still Life, Vase with Twelve Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 92 x 72.5 cm

1889 Still Life, Vase with Twelve Sunflowers 
oil on canvas

1889 The Iris 
oil on canvas 55 x 65 cm

1889 Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 100.5 x 76.5 cm

1890 Flowers in a Vase 
oil on canvas 40 x 31.1 cm

1890 Irises 
oil on canvas 73.7 x 92.1 cm

1890 Japanese Vase with Roses and Anemones 
oil on canvas 51 x 51 cm

1890 Poppies and Butterflies 
oil on canvas 34.5 x 25.5 cm

1890 Red Poppies and Daisies 
oil on canvas 65 x 50 cm

1890 Roses and Beetle 
oil on canvas 33.5 x 24.5 cm

1890 Still Life with Irises 
oil on canvas 92 x 73.5 cm

1890 Still Life, Glass with Carnations 
oil on canvas 41 x 32 cm

1890 Still Life, Pink Roses in a Vase 
oil on canvas 92.6 x 73.7  cm

1890 Still Life, Vase with Flower and Thistles 
oil on canvas 41 x 34 cm

1890 Still Life, Vase with Rose-Mallows 
oil on canvas 42 x 29 cm

1890 Still Life, Vase with Roses 
oil on canvas 71 x 90 cm

1890 Still Life, Pink Roses 
oil on canvas 32 x 40.5 cm

1890 Wild Flowers and Thistles in a Vase 
oil on canvas 67 x 47 cm

1890 Wild Roses 
oil on canvas 24.5 x 33 cm

Still Life, Vase with Five Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 98 x 69 cm ( destroyed by fire in WW2 )

Still Life, Vase with Twelve Sunflowers 
oil on canvas 91 x 72 cm

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