Van Gogh (1853-1890) painted sunflowers many times across his decade-long career –
not only did he like the happiness they evoked, and that they were more coarse than the flowers other artists typically included in still life, they gave him chance to experiment with colour more than other still life paintings.
Van Gogh became so known for his sunflower paintings that his friends even brought sunflowers to hold at his funeral.
I saw this beautiful piece, painted in the winter of 1889, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
As it was out of season, he had no sunflowers in front of him alongside a previous painting he was taking inspiration from, so he used his imagination to bring new life to the idea, resulting in this. The previous painting he took as a model was completed in August 1888, and can now be found in Munich.
Aren’t the yellow and gold shades so uplifting? I love these colours alongside the turquoise so much!