Irises by Vincent van Gogh
Irises by Vincent van Gogh

Irises, 1889

Vincent van Gogh

The artist painted this iconic image of irises undulating in the windy garden of the Saint-Rémy asylum during the prolific year before his death. The cropped composition is divided into broad areas of vivid color with larger-than-life irises overflowing its borders. Van Gogh’s art dealer brother Theo called the painting, “a beautiful study full of air and life.” Each one of Van Gogh’s irises is unique. He carefully studied their movements and shapes to create a variety of curved silhouettes bounded by wavy, twisting, and curling lines. The painting’s first owner wrote: “How well he has understood the exquisite nature of flowers!”

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