GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)

Vase with Cornflowers and Poppies

Summer 1887, Paris
Oil on canvas, 80 x 67 cm
Private collection

Catalogue numbers: F 324, JH 1194.

While van Gogh worked on self-portraits and figure studies to master the representation of human form, during his stay in Paris he painted a large series of flower still-lifes in order to investigate the possibilities of colour. Among the flower still-lifes the present canvas is perhaps the most brilliant and exuberant of its kind. It is characterized by luxurious colour and spontaneous but sure brushwork. Against a loosely painted blue background the artist placed a bouquet of bright red poppies, intensely blue cornflowers, and creamy white marguerites. The narrow vase is placed on a shimmering, but loosely defined surface. The composition vibrates with colour and capture the moment of summer at which these flowers would have been in bloom.