Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The farm stands are still filled with sunflowers.
I just began reading "The Sunflowers are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh's Masterpiece" by Martin Bailey. The author has a background in investigative journalism which serves him well in uncovering new information about Van Gogh. The discovery of an unknown Van Gogh letter in a used book sent Bailey on a mission that culminated in this book. Along the way, Bailey found the photograph below of  the sadly destroyed "Six Sunflowers" in a small Japanese museum tucked inside a folio of Cezanne.  So beautiful.
Six Sunflowers 1888
photograph Mushkoji Saneatsu Memorial Museum
formerly in a Japanese private collection
destroyed in an American bombing raid WW2

Van Gogh painted his most famous sunflower series while living in the Yellow House in Arles, France. 
Sunflowers in Arles photo from here
Fifteen Sunflowers 1889
oil on canvas 93 x 73 cm
Van Gogh Museum image form here
Martin Bailey takes you from the creation of each painting to what happened to them after Van Gogh died. For instance, the painting above that is now in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam was never sold. A member of the Van Gogh family owned it from 1891 and donated it to the museum in 1973. 
Self Portrait for Gauguin 1888
oil on canvas 45 x 55 cm

How could I not be inspired? 
I picked up sunflowers at Tate's farm.
I am getting busy.

Interview with author Martin Bailey here
More about the book,  "The Sunflowers are Mine"

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