Artwork Title: Vase of Peonies

Vase of Peonies, 1886

Vincent van Gogh

Paris, Summer 1886 Having just moved to Paris Vincent was encouraged by his brother Theo to paint brighter, more colorful paintings, and his flower still lifes from this period, in 1886, reflect this. They are still predominantly dark, dominated by earth tones, but the flowers are becoming more vibrant and showing more color. ...This period marks a turning point in his artistic career where he is moving away from the darker paintings he was producing in the Netherlands and becoming interested in the more colourful works of the Impressionists. He was developing his masterful use of colour theory “seeking oppositions of blue with orange, red and green, yellow and violet.” ( While in Paris, Van Gogh transformed the subjects, color and techniques that he used in creating still life paintings.... For four months, Van Gogh studied with Fernand Cormon, painting plaster casts, live nude models and props available at Cormon's studio. Cormon also encouraged open-air painting. There me met Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Émile Bernard, and Louis Anquetin. Through Theo and artistic social circles he also met Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Paul Signac, Georges Seurat, and Paul Gauguin. Through the fellowship with these men, he was introduced to Impressionists, Symbolists, Pointillists, and Japanese art, Ukiyo-e, and woodcut prints. In spite of his unusual manner, disheveled clothes and often time frightening manner, Paris was the one place where Van Gogh developed friendships with other artists. So much so that when Toulouse-Lautrec heard disparaging remarks against Van Gogh, he challenged the man to a duel. Seeing and trading artwork with the Parisian avant-garde artists, Van Gogh understood what Theo had been trying to tell him for years about modern art. He was able to experiment with each of the movements to develop his own style, becoming what some say is "one of the most important artists in modern art." ...One of the most transformational elements of Van Gogh's work during his period in Paris was his use of color. (
Uploaded on Nov 7, 2017 by Suzan Hamer

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