Still life: vase with oleanders and books by Vincent Van Gogh

Still life: vase with oleanders and books by Vincent Van Gogh

Flowers often appeared on the canvases of Van Gogh. After moving to Paris, he constantly writes bouquets to learn how to convey the intensity and purity of their colors. Arles still lifes are more alive and brighter than the senses. Here he writes flowers as part of animate nature, which was for him the main source of inspiration.

On this still life of 1888, the artist painted oleanders, standing in a small vase. Their sprawling branches occupy the entire upper part of the composition. Below left, Van Gogh placed two books. According to the yellow color of the covers, it can be assumed that these are French

novels, which at that time were read by the artist.

As in many other still lifes with flowers, Van Gogh uses vivid color contrasts here, thereby achieving the highest intensity and purity of color. But thanks to the subtle coloristic approach, these contrasts seem unusually soft and harmonious. Gently pink bunches of oleander flowers flash bright spots on a light green background.

The manner of execution of some details of the still life is close to the art of Japanese prints. Colorfulness and optimism of the picture expresses infinite joy from admiring the beauty of living nature.

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