The Sunflowers, now available on our fresh, crisp cotton puff with signature organza lining to create a petticoat effect.
"Sometimes a work of art is so dazzlingly famous that it can blind people to its original context and meaning. That surely is the case with Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
Take the version in London’s National Gallery that the Dutch artist painted in Arles in the South of France in August 1888. Fifteen sunflowers erupt out of a simple earthenware pot against a blazing yellow background. Some of the flowers are fresh and perky, ringed with halos of flickering, flame-like petals. Others are going to seed and have begun to droop.
In part a meditation on the vagaries of time, the picture gives a dynamic, ferociously colourful twist to the long tradition of Dutch flower painting stretching back to the 17th Century. Since it entered the National Gallery’s collection in 1924, it has also proved phenomenally popular. Last year, more postcards of this painting were sold in the gallery’s shop – the exact figure was 26,110 – than of any other picture in the entire collection. But many of the more than 5m people who visit the National Gallery every year will be unaware that the painting belongs to a series of four extraordinary sunflower still lifes that Van Gogh created in less than a week during the summer of 1888, when a cold northerly wind prevented him from working outdoors.
Van Gogh painted sunflowers for the first time in the summer of 1886. Two years later, his interest re-emerged after he settled at Arles, just north of Marseille in Provence. Having invited the Post-Impressionist French artist Paul Gauguin, whom he admired, to join his Studio of the South, he began painting sunflowers to brighten up the whitewashed interiors of the yellow house he was renting at 2 Place Lamartine, not far from the town’s railway station and brothels.
“I think he painted them for the sheer joy of it,” says Jansen. “The bright yellow of the flowers that he could combine into brilliant contrasts, the forms and lines of petals and stems: they offered a great challenge for a painter.” “Van Gogh was at the height of his powers in the summer of 1888,” explains Bailey. “He painted the Sunflowers quickly and with great energy and confidence.” Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo in late August: “I’m painting with the gusto of a Marseillais eating bouillabaisse [Provençal fish stew], which won’t surprise you when it’s a question of painting large Sunflowers.”
Van Gogh recognised at once that he had created something important and relished the fact that his sunflowers were so distinctive that they functioned almost like an artist’s signature. As he told Theo in January 1889, while other artists were known for painting particular flowers such as peonies and hollyhocks, “the sunflower is mine”. “Van Gogh realised early on that sunflowers were a uniquely resonant motif which he could make his own,” explains Christopher Riopelle, curator of post-1800 paintings at the National Gallery.
This, in part, accounts for the popularity of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers today: they are a kind of visual shorthand for the artist, whose dramatic and difficult life, culminating in his death from a self-inflicted bullet wound in 1890, continues to fascinate the public."
Jorji is 5'7 and wearing size XS
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100% Cotton with 100% poly petticoat lining: Wash cold or Dry Clean
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