Painting Irises by Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh. Painting Irises, 1889
Vincent Van Gogh. Painting Irises, 1889

Irises is a painting by Vincent Van Gogh in 1889. The artist depicted a small section of a summer meadow, filling the central part of the canvas with irises. The composition is harmonious and, which is unusual for Van Gogh’s works, symmetrical. The earth, located in the lower left corner, is combined with brownish-red flowers, placed in parallel, in the upper left of the picture. White and pale blue irises occupy the center of the landscape, standing out against the background of lilac and dark blue flowers. The picture is filled with serenity and calm joy.

Author: Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890).

Year of writing: 1889.

Size: 71 x 93 cm.

Style: Post-Impressionism, Japanese painting.

Genre: Landscape.

Technique: Oil painting.

Material: Canvas.

Location: The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Vincent Van Gogh is a bright and controversial post-impressionist who worked in the second half of the 19th century. He painted the painting “Irises” in one of the most difficult periods of his life – during his stay in a psychiatric hospital near the French town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence. It was then that the genius had sudden and uncontrollable attacks of aggression, so he was forced to be under the constant supervision of doctors. “Irises” were created shortly before the first serious manifestation of the disease, when the artist was still hoping for the success of the treatment. Apparently that is why the landscape turned out to be so airy and natural.

Painting Irises by Vincent Van Gogh – the sensuality of Japanese painting and the emotionality of post-impressionism

In the painting, the master combines post-impressionism and Japanese engraving, this “Irises” sharply differ from the works written by Van Gogh earlier. The subtlety and lightness of lines in the contours of objects, filling individual fragments with a solid color, unusual angles of elements – these techniques were borrowed by the artist in the ukiyo-e technique.

And harmoniously woven into them the brightness and sharpness of the palette, the saturation and sweeping of the strokes, the decorativeness of the plot, in a word, everything that characterizes post-impressionism. No sketches for the painting have survived. Moreover, many experts believe that preliminary sketches did not exist, and Van Gogh himself called the “Irises” a sketch.

Unlike his brother, Theodorus van Gogh praised the work and exhibited it at the September 1889 Salon. Octave Mirbeau, a French writer and art critic, paid 300 francs for the work and became its first owner. A century later, Australian entrepreneur Alan Bond bought the Irises for a record $ 53.9 million. However, he did not have enough funds to complete the deal, so in 1990 the canvas was resold to the Getty Museum, where it is still located.

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