Anyone interested in painting will recognize Van Gogh's Sunflowers. Van Gogh, who originally painted dark pictures, encountered Impressionism and spent some time painting sunflowers with great enthusiasm.

Van Gogh also studied "complementary colors," which are colors with opposite relationships that were not well known at the time. As a result, there are several paintings of sunflowers that combine a blue background with yellow sunflowers to make each other's presence shine. This combination of blue and yellow is frequently used in Van Gogh's works.

Nevertheless, why are Van Gogh's sunflowers so popular?

He was originally a painter who painted many of the same pictures. However, as for sunflowers, he created many works, even among his seven paintings. It is thought that the reason for their popularity may be that each of the sunflowers has a different atmosphere depending on his background and state of mind at the time. One of them was destroyed by fire, but the others are still in existence.

He was also a painter who actually painted what he saw with his own eyes. The first four paintings were done in August 1888, when he actually saw sunflowers in bloom. The remaining three works are reproductions of his own work.

Let's look at Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" in the order of their creation.

Sunflower 1

Van Gogh first created Sunflowers in August 1888. It is now kept in a private collection in the United States.

The two lower sunflowers are dying and seem to express a contrast with the upper sunflowers. There is less of an image of yellow, and if anything, it looks as if more orange is used.

Sunflower 2

Gogh's second work of sunflower was purchased in 1920 by a Japanese businessman named Koyata Yamamoto for a price of 200 million yen. It was exhibited at many art exhibitions in Japan, and was a big hit. It was later displayed in Koyata Yamamoto's home, but was destroyed by fire in an American air raid in 1945.

The background of this work is darker and the sunflowers are more withered than in the first work. It is the opposite of Van Gogh's image of bright sunflowers.

Sunflower 3

The work is housed in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, Germany.

It depicts 12 sunflowers, the largest number of sunflowers in the two previous works. It is brightly colored with complementary colors. This is the Van Gogh's sunflowers that we have all been imagining.

A vase with Van Gogh's signature is also depicted.

Sunflower 4

It was painted in the motif of the twelve Sunflowers mentioned earlier; it is also the most famous of the seven works.

It is currently housed in the National Gallery in London. Gauguin, who lived with Van Gogh, praised this work, saying that it was his masterpiece. Gauguin asked him to give it to him, but Van Gogh himself was so fond of the work that he kept it for himself. It is a famous story that Gauguin left a portrait of Van Gogh working on this sunflower.

Sunflower 5

This work was painted just before the ear-cutting incident in December 1888. It was a horrific incident in which Van Gogh cut off his own left ear. This incident brought an end to Van Gogh and Gauguin's life together.

In 1987, Yasuo Goto, who was the president of the Sompo museum at the time, purchased the work for 5.8 billion yen in order to attract visitors. There were rumors that it was a fake, but after repeated investigations, it was proven to be Van Gogh's autograph.

Sunflower 6

It is said to have been painted as a copy of the third Sunflowers, which is displayed in Munich. It is now kept in the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the United States.

He has used complementary colors that he had been studied over and over. Various kinds of sunflowers are depicted, some in full bloom and others on the verge of withering. This work is truly a compilation of Van Gogh's sunflowers.

Sunflower 7

It was produced at about the same time as the sixth Sunflowers and is said to be the last sunflower Van Gogh painted. It is kept at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Van Gogh was hospitalized after the ear-cutting incident, and this painting was created after his release from the hospital along with the sixth Sunflowers.

The yellow color, which is a symbol of Van Gogh, is used to its fullest.


These are the all seven Sunflowers painted by van Gogh. Which sunflower is your favorite?

Artworks of Flora

Like Van Gogh's sunflowers, there are many artists today who use flowers as a motif.

Enjoy the beautiful and unique expression of flora paintings by Japanese contemporary artists as well!

Artsy: https://www.artsy.net/viewing-room/kyoto-art-gallery-theme-flora?utm_content=viewing-room-gallery-share

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