How was Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” created and why do we love it?

Vincent Van Gogh was not the first artist to paint flowers, and we can confidently say that he was not the inventor of flowers either! Despite this, he surprised the art world with his painting series "Sunflowers", but what distinguishes these paintings from similar examples? Where did the idea of these paintings come from and why did they become world famous?

BingMag.com How was Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” created and why do we love it?

Vincent Van Gogh was not the first artist to paint flowers, and we can confidently say that he was not the inventor of flowers either! Despite this, he surprised the art world with his painting series "Sunflowers", but what distinguishes these paintings from similar examples? Where did the idea of these paintings come from and why did they become world famous?

When we think of this famous Dutch painter, the word "genius" does not come to mind. More than 130 years have passed and we still can't take our eyes off these hypnotic paintings. But the innovation and artistic skills are not the only reasons for the popularity of this painter, but also the feelings, humanity and messages that can be seen in his works, things that you can touch with all your heart even with a partial glance.

BingMag.com How was Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” created and why do we love it?

Van Gogh painting sunflowers, by Paul Gauguin

A concern influenced by childhood

Van Gogh wanted to be known as the "painter of sunflowers" and he drew several different versions of these flowers to reflect his different moods and his outlook on life. . In this regard and in order to have a better understanding of these paintings, it is necessary to review some parts of the life of this famous painter.

In the middle of the 19th century, the Van Gogh family lived in a small town called "Zondert" in South Holland had a simple life but they were extremely rich and living in such a family had a deep impact on this painter. In fact, his mental scars in adulthood stem from those years. In addition, he was born at a time when his family was going through an unforgettable tragedy, because a year before Vincent's birth, his mother gave birth to a stillborn baby. This tragic event changed this family and the atmosphere of the house was connected with sadness, anxiety and fear. These anxieties were transferred to Vincent as well, the taciturn boy spent his days daydreaming. He was a recluse and preferred to watch his surroundings rather than act, a dull and boring life.

BingMag.com How was Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” created and why do we love it?

Living in an environment that is not very active in the field of political or cultural developments, made Van Gogh's childhood simple and far from fuss, and this painter was closer to nature and rural lifestyle. to be This is probably why he loved flowers, especially sunflowers. For him, the sunflower embodied a different kind of beauty, a symbol of the world around him, a reflection of real nature, real life and real people. The sunflower did not have the delicacy of other flowers, it looked coarse and incomplete, its petals were sharp and its stem turned with the movement of the sun. This passion for sunflowers stayed with him, no matter where, in Holland, Paris or France, Van Gogh could not forget it.

  • 15 facts about "Vincent Van Gogh" that you did not know /li>

Flowers that counted the moment to be drawn

In August 1888, Van Gogh wrote a letter to his brother, who was a famous art dealer, in which he described a large sunflower. He mentions that he saw it near his gallery. He explains that this flower became a source of inspiration for him and he drew his first collection of sunflowers. Vincent painted the second series (including six paintings) in the city of "Arles" (south of France), two of which he called "repetitions". Although these two periods of Van Gogh's life were accompanied by the creation of several masterpieces, we must consider them destructive and cruel. He immortalized his place in the history of art with flowers and "Starry Night", but at the same time he fell. In the last years of his life, he remembered his childhood a lot and talked about those days, and this sense of nostalgia can be seen in his works. Especially in one of the paintings where you can see his mother and sister in a sunflower garden.

Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin; A Complicated Friendship

In the winter of 1888, Van Gogh and Gauguin spent a few weeks as roommates in the "Yellow House" (located in the city of Arles). These two post-impressionist artists were fascinated by each other's works, but their friendship gradually faded. After moving to Paris and painting the first series of sunflowers (which Gauguin admired and inspired Van Gogh to continue with the project), Van Gogh settled in Arles, southern France, and painted a new series based on this flower. started. Van Gogh intended to establish an artists' house there, where different painters could live and work and become a source of inspiration for each other. And it was in the same days that he invited Gauguin to spend some time in the yellow house, which he accepted. To decorate his dear friend's room, the tasteful Vincent painted the fresh sunflowers he had painted on the walls.

BingMag.com How was Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” created and why do we love it?

Van Gogh's room in Arles

Although the relationship between Van Gogh and Gauguin was friendly, it soon became clear that financial motives were involved. plays a role. In the meantime, the influence of Theodore Van Gogh, Vincent's brother and art dealer, should not be overlooked, who played a significant role in the fame and success of Paul Gauguin, a young French painter who had just arrived on the islands of Martinique. However, Vincent and Gauguin had a special respect for each other and always praised each other in different circles. As mentioned above, Gauguin's attention and interest in sunflower paintings was one of the reasons for motivating the Dutch genius to create similar works again (he painted a total of eleven paintings, one of which was lost during World War II). Although the relationship between these two artists went downhill and there was turbidity between them, they continued their friendly and artistic correspondence until Van Gogh's death.

Sunflowers, a symbol for everything

Van Gogh's sunflowers are a product of his time. This plant represents the different stages of life: when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, it shines and is more alive than ever, but without its light, it silently decays. At that time, the Impressionists' works on light and color had a great influence on Van Gogh, forcing him to use color contrasts in his oil paintings. pigment on pigment, yellow on blue, green on yellow; Van Gogh experimented with colors, but which color was in the spotlight? Undoubtedly yellow. To paint the flowers, he used a range of sub-sets of yellow, which can still serve as a lesson for young painters, that the artist is able to create a suitable painting by making slight changes in a single color, without losing the expressive power of the work. be reduced Some art critics and painters after him criticized Van Gogh for his sunflowers, calling them "poor and crude" but Van Gogh knew exactly what he was doing, he was sure that this collection was special and he loved it. .

Sunflowers are a symbol of life, an embodiment of brightness and purity in life. He never tired of drawing them, even though he devoted himself to them. As if every time he took a piece of his soul and injected it into the painting. If you read Van Gogh's biography, you will clearly see that there is a suffering human being in the heart of these paintings. Most of his masterpieces were created during a time when he was mentally and emotionally disturbed, but sunflowers were an element of hope for him. They were tied to concepts such as gratitude, friendship and hope.

BingMag.com How was Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” created and why do we love it?

Being one with the flowers

Van Gogh was aware that he was a unique person and from an early age, he tried to turn his hidden talents and emotions into art. Although his brother loved him and always supported him, but Van Gogh often lived alone and in unstable spaces. He considered the sunflower to be a magical being and saw himself in it. While other painters had not paid much attention to this flower until then, he focused all his attention on it.

Paul Google always said that the paintings of "unconditional sunflowers are Vincent himself". Even in a short period between 1886 and 1889, this flower became the artist's signature. In a letter to his brother Theodore, he writes: "The sunflower belongs to me." Even when he passed away, his friends and relatives walked to the funeral with sunflowers in their hands.

Van Gogh's relatively short artistic career had a great impact on contemporary art. His paintings now have a special place among the best works of the 19th century and of course the history of art. The remaining paintings from the Sunflower Collection can be found in museums around the world, from Tokyo to Amsterdam. The fourth version, which is kept in the National Gallery of London and is considered the most famous version, was bought from a Japanese nobleman in 1987 for $39.85, but is now worth millions of dollars. Painting of sunflowers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *