Sunflowers by Van Gogh are arguably among some of his most famous works produced. He painted a series of Sunflowers in vases while living in Arles, France in 1888-1889. A year prior to this, while in Paris, he painted a series of Sunflowers that were lying on the ground.
The sunflower paintings had a special significance for Van Gogh; he wrote that to him they signified gratitude.
Vincent painted a total of five large canvases with sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’. This was his way to show it was possible to create an image with numerous variations of a single colour, without any loss of eloquence.
In a letter dated 21,22 August 1888, Vincent wrote to his brother: "I'm painting with the gusto of a Marseillais eating bouillabaisse, which won’t surprise you when it's a question of painting large sunflowers." At this time he had three paintings on the go, and intended to do more; as he explained to his brother: "in the hope of living in a studio of our own with Gauguin, I'd like to do a decoration for the studio. Nothing but large sunflowers"
He hung the first two in the room of his friend, the painter Paul Gauguin, who came to live with him in the Yellow House in Arles for a while. Gauguin really liked the sunflowers, which he described as being ‘completely Vincent’. Van Gogh had already painted a new version during his friend’s stay and Gauguin later asked for one as a gift, which Vincent was very reluctant to give him. He did exchange some of Gaugin's work for a sunflower painting, but made copies of it later again.
Our version of his sunflowers seem to correlate with the third version he painted, identified as F456, third version, blue-green background (currently in Munich) and F455 repetition of third version (currently in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA).
He painted these flowers beautifully and managed to make these Sunflowers his signature and is probably some of his most reproduced work.
Our version of Van Gogh's Sunlowers is a challenging 40 x 50cm canvas and has 24 colours. Each box contains a stretched, printed and numbered canvas, paint, brushes and a page detailing the numbers for an extra reference.
Paint by Numbers
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