Still life: vase with irises on a yellow background by Vincent Van Gogh

Still life: vase with irises on a yellow background by Vincent Van Gogh

In April 1890, Van Gogh created several still lifes with flowers. Among them, two canvases with large bouquets of violet irises are especially prominent. One of them the artist placed on a pink background. For the second, he specifically chose a bright yellow color, which contrasted strongly with the color of the petals. The artist wanted with the help of this bright combination of opposite shades to maximize the intensity of the colorful structure of the painting.

The whole composition is built in such a way as to highlight and emphasize this contrasting combination. Van Gogh did not pay much attention to

the details, as if combining them into one common mass with the help of yellow. This allows you to focus the viewer’s attention on a bright violet spot of irises in the middle of the canvas.

The manner of execution is close to Japanese art. There is almost no black-shadow modeling of objects. Van Gogh depicts all the details flat, filling the wide sections with solid, even spots.

The painting was written in the impiasto technique, by applying a thick layer of oil paint. Despite the strong contrast, it is full of tenderness and lyricism. The artist carefully and lovingly wrote down the delicate petals of flowers, touched by withering.

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