Vincent Van Gogh : Sunflowers











Vincent’s first sunflowers were achieved in Paris, a little before his departure for Arles. Already longing for the sun?
When he settled in the Yellow House, he thought of decorating his workshop “with half a dozen paintings of sunflowers, a decoration where raw or deep chromes will burst on various backgrounds, from the lightest Veronese blue to the royal blue, framed by thin laths in orange leads.
Some kind of Gothic stained glass window church effects”.
“ I am painting with the keenness of a Marseillais eating a bouillabaisse, which won’t amaze you, since the thing is to paint big sunflowers…The latest is light on a light background, and I hope it will be the best. I probably won’t stop at this stage”. And when he puts up the bedroom for Theo: “In that very small room, I want to put six really big paintings at least, in the Japanese way, and first of all the huge bunches of sunflowers”.
And the house will be, according to my will, crammed with paintings, from head to toes.
“ The bedroom where you will stay will have white walls and be decorated with big yellow sunflowers. In the morning, from your window, you will see the greenery of the gardens, the rising sun and the outskirts of the city. But you will see those big paintings with twelve, fourteen sunflowers, crammed in that tiny boudoir with a nice bed and smart things around”.
Vincent is already aware of the importance of this flower in his work:
“ Janin has the peony, Quost the hollyhock, but me I somewhat have the sunflower”.