The Nineteenth-century Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists of all time. He had a unique perspective on the world, which no human would ever possess in the coming years. Today, the artist is known for numerous amazing paintings that enchant people, such as The Starry Night, Cafe Terrace at Night, Almond Blossoms, and Self-Portrait.
But long before Van Gogh created these paintings that caught global attention, he dedicated himself to the wonders of “Sunflowers”. One of the most iconic paintings by the Dutch artist, Sunflowers is also one of the most-known paintings today.
Currently, the painting is worth an unimaginable sum, but there were days when the painting could not catch any eye and went unsold during Van Gogh’s life. In today’s article, we will talk about five things that you need to know about Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers.’
Sunflowers Were His Dearest Painting
Every artist loves each and every creation of theirs; however, there always remains one that is beloved by the artist and wants to be known for that particular piece, and “Sunflowers” was the most famous Vincent Van Gogh artwork.
Flowers were all the rage among artists at the time, but Van Gogh wanted to paint differently rather than following the same old days of still life painting. Therefore, Van Gogh chose to paint a specific variety of flowers: the sunflowers. His friends often criticised the painting, saying it was coarse and unrefined, but these were the very features that Van Gogh most loved about it.
Van Gogh always had a special feeling for painting; after his death of Van Gogh, his friends and family brought sunflowers to his funeral. Today, the sunflower is one of the artist’s most well-known paintings, and Sunflowers have become synonymous with Vincent Van Gogh.
Finished the Painting With A Shopping Spree
Van Gogh painted this series during the height of his career when he had fully mastered an impressionist technique for expressing light and colour. The artist started the painting on Monday, 20th August 1888, and had finished the entire canvas by Friday.
The completion of the painting was kind of a big deal for him, and he felt quite relaxed when he finished it. Therefore, upon finishing the entire painting, Vincent Van Gogh chose to take a break from painting and went on a shopping spree.
Known for not spending too much on personal grooming and clothing, that day, Van Gogh returned with a very high-quality black velvet jacket and a large yellow hat. Two months later, Van Gogh created another painting titled The Bedroom – the velvet jacket, and straw hat can be seen hanging behind the bed in the painting.
A Nazi Leader Owned a Fake Copy of the Painting.
When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they branded Van Gogh as “degenerate” and forced German museums to sell five of his paintings. However, Hermann Goring, a deputy leader of Hitler, was happy to keep the lotted painting titled Two Sunflowers.
During World War II, Hermann Goering, leader of the German Luftwaffe and a high-ranking Nazi official, hung the painting in Burg Veldentein, a castle Goring and his wife owned outside Nurnberg. When Goring was arrested and jailed, the painting was recovered by American troops and returned to its pre-war owner.
In 1946, Goring committed suicide hours before he was to be hanged, and thus could never know that the painting he owned was a crude forgery.
Van Gogh Created Other Versions of the Painting As Well
The painting Sunflowers In A Vase is Vincent van Gogh’s one of the best-known and most widely acclaimed works. But many people do not realize that he painted five versions of the painting, and these five artworks are now found at museums all around the world, from Tokyo to Amsterdam.
In addition to these five famous versions of Sunflowers, there also are two other versions of the painting. While one has always stayed hidden in a private collection, the other painting was unfortunately lost during the World War II bombing raid in Japan.
Van Gogh Decorated Paul Gaughin’s Room With Sunflower Paintings
Paul Gauguin, a French Post-Impressionist painter and naturalist, was highly admired by van Gogh. He sought to create a new style that he felt best represented reality by depicting it as he perceived it. Impressed with the original Sunflowers painting, Gaughin declared Sunflowers “a perfect example of the style that was completely Vincent”.
When Van Gogh moved to the south of France, he wanted to establish an artists’ community where they could live, work and inspire each other. For this purpose, Van Gogh and Gaughin planned the latter’s visit to Arles. When Van Gogh knew that Paul Gaughin was coming, he painted several still-life paintings of sunflowers to decorate Gaughin’s room.
The Bottom Line
Vincent Van Gogh’s career was brief, but the impact of his art and style on modern art is significant. Despite not being commercially successful throughout his lifetime, Van Gogh’s paintings are today known as some of the most famous creations of the 19th century and fetch millions of dollars in art auctions.
Sunflowers is one of the artist’s most iconic paintings and surely one that is actually beloved by the artist and wanted to be known for.