Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers

Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers

"I’m now on the fourth painting of sunflowers. This fourth one is a bouquet of 14 flowers and is on a yellow background, like a still life of quinces and lemons that I did back then. Only as it’s much bigger, this one creates quite an unusual effect, and I believe that this time it’s painted with more simplicity than the quinces and lemons." To Theo. Arles, Thursday, 23 or Friday, 24 August 1888
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Details:
Painting Date
22nd of August 1888
Detailed Image Links
Description:
This canvas is one of four of Sunflowers painted  in a week late in August.  He hopes to decorate the walls Gauguin’s room in the Yellow House with them.  He will pick up the motif of the sunflower again in January of 1989, after the self mutilation of his ear and a December hospitalization in Arles and before he experiences a second episode of attack renders him incoherent for 10 days.  The related items are the other three canvases he completed that week.
The compare items are this painting done before Gauguin’s arrival and one at the Van Gogh Museum which was a copy of the first created in January of 1889.
“I’m now on the fourth painting of sunflowers.
This fourth one is a bouquet of 14 flowers and is on a yellow background,2 like a still life of quinces and lemons that I did back then.3
Only as it’s much bigger,4 this one creates quite an unusual effect, and I believe that this time it’s painted with more simplicity than the quinces and lemons. Do you remember that one day at the Hôtel Drouot we saw a quite extraordinary Manet, some large pink peonies and their green leaves on a light background?5 As much in harmony and as much a flower as anything you like, and yet painted in solid, thick impasto and not like Jeannin.
That’s what I’d call simplicity of technique. And I must tell you that these days I’m making a great effort to find  1v:3 a way of using the brush without stippling or anything else, nothing but a varied brushstroke. But you’ll see, one day.

What a pity painting costs so much. This week I had fewer money worries than other weeks, so I let myself go. I’ll have spent the hundred-franc note in a single week, but at the end of this week I’ll have my four paintings6 and even if I add the price of all the colours that I’ve used up, the week won’t have been wasted. I got up very early every day, I dined and supped well, I was able to work assiduously without feeling myself weaken. But there you are, we live in times when there’s no market for what we do; not only do we not sell, as you see with Gauguin, we’d like to borrow against paintings done and we find nothing, even when the amounts are insignificant and the works substantial. And that’s how we fall prey to all the whims of fortune.”

To Theo. Arles, Thursday, 23 or Friday, 24 August 1888

Painting, Oil on Canvas – 93 x 73 cm – Size 30 Figure
Arles, France: August 22, 1888
National Gallery
London, United Kingdom, Europe
F: 454, JH: 1562

Where Vincent Was:
Arles

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