The Reproduction Process

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Still Life with Irises

In 1890, Vincent Van Gogh paints Still Life with Irises while being treated in an asylum he admitted himself into, after having a severe breakdown. During this period, he spent some time locked in a room without being able to paint, so to recover his health, but he also had a time where he produced paintings there as well. He rarely created still-life paintings during this period, the only other one he does while in the asylum is Vase with Irises

The artist approached this work as a color study, for he sees the color possibilities painting flowers enables. He uses a similar composition of flower paintings he had done in the past, like Vase with Twelve Sunflowers II. He used darker strokes to contour the central figure and highlight it from the rest of the softer painting. He also used thick layers of paint to portray this flower arrangement in a realistic and not idealized way – seeing that many stems have broken and some flowers fall from the bunch. This messiness can also be seen as a tactic to make the composition a bit more interesting, for the fallen flowers balance out the background, bringing a bit of the colder colors to the bottom part of the painting.

To create an image with vibrant colors that pop, Van Gogh always relies on the use of complementary colors to create a harmonious painting. Complementary colors are a combination of two or more colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. The Post-impressionist artist uses a bright yellow background to contrast with the purple flowers. Unfortunately, the effects of time have faded the red pigment in this painting, turning the purple into blue. This combination is compelling when an artist can portray it with wisdom.

He also contrasts the bright green stems and leaves of the irises with the pale orange vase they are in, as well as the floor. The bright colors used resembled the Japanese prints in which Van Gogh was deeply influenced by and collected, like his fellow artists of the time. He produces other still-life portraits using some of the Japanese prints as background. Even though he only saw this painting as a color study, it is now perceived as a magnificent work of art.

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Still Life with Irises Vincent Van Gogh

Item Number: 16814334 show sizes in cm
Painting Price: $483.99
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