Joyeux Anniversaire, Vincent

Toward the end of his life, while still at the Saint-Paul-de-Masole asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, Vincent van Gogh devoted himself to painting flowers. His optimism about the future may be seen both in the subject matter and the colors. He believed that, by painting, he could keep his illness at bay.

As he wrote to his brother Theo shortly before he left the asylum, he had “worked as in a frenzy. Great bunches of flowers, violet irises, big bouquets of roses…”

On this, the anniversary of his birth, let’s take time to appreciate the fruit of his labors.

Irises (1890), Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (PD-US)

Irises (1889), J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (PD-US)

Roses (1890), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (PD-US)

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