Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-zxw8g Total loading time: 0.39 Render date: 2023-02-01T20:20:15.957Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

1 - Van Gogh's Sunflowers: Research in Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 November 2020

Get access

Summary

Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers are viewed by many as icons of Western European art. The artist painted five large versions of the motif and this book focuses on two in which the vase with sunflowers is portrayed against a yellow background. The first version, painted from life in August 1888, is now in the collection of the National Gallery in London, and the second, made in January 1889, is in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. New information recently came to light when the two paintings were examined in unprecedented depth, using a broad array of traditional to state-of-the art techniques, to look closely at and underneath the paint surface. Van Gogh's Sunflowers Illuminated presents the outcomes of this research undertaken by an international team of more than 30 scientists, conservators and art historians who have contributed as co-authors to this publication.

Technical studies of the London and Amsterdam Sunflowers

The idea of performing a comparative investigation of the related London and Amsterdam Sunflower paintings dates back to 1993, when a longstanding collaborative effort between the National Gallery and the Van Gogh Museum was launched that continues to the present day. Headed by Ashok Roy from the Scientific Department at the National Gallery, the initial study included chemical analysis of micro-samples of paint taken from each picture to facilitate a comparison of the composition and build-up of corresponding areas of colour and their state of preservation. In addition, a first assessment of the structural condition of the Amsterdam painting was made by the conservators Anthony Reeve (National Gallery) and Cornelia Peres (Van Gogh Museum), in view of the idea that the work might travel to London where the two pictures could be shown by side, a plan which did not go ahead at that time. In the years that followed there were few opportunities for short episodes of further examination, as the much-loved Sunflower paintings could not be removed from the galleries for long. One such occasion was the joint technical study undertaken by Kristin Hoermann Lister, Inge Fiedler and Cornelia Peres for the 2001–02 exhibition Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South. All three versions of Sunflowers against a yellow background were included in the exhibition.

Type
Chapter
Information
Van Gogh's Sunflowers Illuminated
Art Meets Science
, pp. 11 - 20
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×