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van Gogh: Sunflowers


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Sunflowers Stained Glass Panel
by Vincent van Gogh
from the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Item #9082
Dimensions: 5" x 7"

Although a prolific artist, Vincent van Gogh is most often remembered for his Sunflower paintings. The first Sunflowers, painted in Paris during the summer of 1887, used dark colors and featured only 1 or 2 blossoms each. However, van Gogh continued to experiment with the Sunflower, and in August 1888, while waiting in Arles for his friend, Paul Gaugain, van Gogh painted at least 4 brilliantly colored Sunflower paintings, using riotous yellows, oranges and reds. Gaugain admired the colorful Sunflower series so much, that two of the paintings hung in his bedroom. It was at the end of this visit to the South of France that van Gogh descended into madness, ultimately severing his own ear. In his own defense, Gaugain claims that he encouraged van Gogh to utilize "bugle notes" of bright cheerful colors, inspiring the Sunflower paintings.

This stained glass design has been reproduced from the Sunflowers painting in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is unclear whether this painting was completed in Arles in 1888, or the following year, when another "Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers" painting is noted. Despite the year, Sunflowers bursts with the vibrant energy of Vincent van Gogh, and has become a timeless masterpiece for which he will always be remembered.

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