Final Creative Project Presentation Example Art Appreciation
The majestic sunflower has been painted by many
artist throughout the years.
Artist such as Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Georgia
Okeefe, and Diego Rivera to name only a few have
left their mark on the art world with famous depictions
of this magnificent flower.
The artist most widely associated with the flower is
Dutch Post Impressionist Artist - Vincent van Gogh.
Van Gogh’s Life, Quick Facts • Vincent was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland on
March 30, 1853.
• He was the son of a minister and brought up in a
• He studied to become a Priest.
• Had no formal education in art; but studied for a
short time in Belgium and then moved to Paris and
later Arles, France where he hoped to set up a
community of Artist.
• He suffered from seizures and mental instability
most of his life.
• He was dependant on his brother Theo.
• He cut off the lower lobe of one ear during a seizure
Van Gogh’s Life Quick Facts – cont.
• He died on July 27, 1890 in Auver-sur-Oise,
France, of a self inflicted gun shot wound.
• At the time of his death he had sold only one
• He was influenced by the art of Rembrandt, Peter
Paul Rubens, various Japanese artist and his friend
• Considered on of the most influential figures of the
Post-Impressionism movement in France, and seen
as a pioneer of 20th century Expressionism.
• His career lasted only ten years and he produced
over 1000 drawings and 840 paintings.
Flower still lifes lent well for experimenting with
contrasting colors such as yellow and blue.
He was challenged by achieving a "light on light"
effect, or a contrast between the bouquet and the
He was not trying to make an exact copy of
reality, but trying to express Emotion.
He attempted to invest the objects in
his paintings with significance and symbolism.
For him yellow was a symbol of happiness,
love and light.
In Dutch literature the Sunflower was a
symbol of devotion and loyalty.
Sunflowers. Photograph. National Gallery,
London. National Gallery London. Web. 20
• Van Gogh produced a total of eleven
• Between August and September 1988 he
painted four of these sunflower paintings.
• One of his greatest Expressionist paintings is,
Sunflowers (Tournesols) (1888).
Vincent Van Gogh
Oil on Canvas
92.1 cm × 73 cm (36.2 in × 28.7 in)
National Gallery, London
He painted daily, because it was August and the
sunflowers were in bloom.
He originally intended to paint a series of twelve
He wanted to decorate a room in his studio for
his friend Paul Gauguin.
He chose this subject because:
1. He actually loved the subject
2. Gauguin admired his previous sunflower
The flowers were painted in all stages of life,
from opening bloom to wilted and dying.
He did not mix colors, and with the innovations in
the pigment manufacturing processes of the 19th
century he was able to use the entire range of the
yellow spectrum (chrome yellow was a new color).
Painted almost all in yellow against a yellow
background, making the painting almost
To produce this sunflower painting, Van Gogh used
a range of techniques, including small pointillist dots
of color that gives the work a sense of vibrancy.
He also used a small squiggled stroke which is a
modified version of pointillist dots.
Impasto brushstrokes were used in the seed heads
and to build up the dying flowers.
“... nowadays I am trying to find a special
brushwork without stippling or anything
else, nothing but the varied stroke." (Quote
source: Letter from Vincent van Gogh to his brother, Theo van Gogh, from Arles,
c.27 August 1888.)
This photograph is a representational work of Sunflowers in
The focal point of the piece is the large sunflower in the
center of the photograph.
The work is asymmetrical balanced with the same amount of
visual elements on both sides of focal point.
This photograph has a polychromatic warm color scheme.
The dominant color in the photograph is yellow. The hues of
this color create several different variations with diverse
intensities that have a strong visual impact upon the viewer.
This photograph may not be the best example to interpret
scale and proportion due to the lack of comparable
Both works have sunflowers in a vase as
the main subject, and both works have
bright colors. The dominant color is yellow.
1. Note the similarities in the flower eyes: both
have two colors.
2. The stems on Van Gogh’s flowers are long and
slender, on the real flowers the stems are more
compact and are shorter.
3. In Van Gogh’s painting you can see wilted
flowers, and in the photo there are no wilted
4. Van Gogh’s flower heads have a more compact
bushy appearance than the real flowers.
5. You can see a difference in petal structure. In
Van Gogh’s painting, the petals are longer and
seem to shrink to a sharp point. The real
sunflower has a more blunt tip.
6. In Van Gogh’s Sunflower painting you can judge
proportion and scale because of the introduction
of the vase as something with which to relate.
In the real flower photograph it is more difficult to
measure proportion and scale.
“The sunflower is mine in a
- Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his
brotherVincent (letter 573, January 22 or 23 1889)
A humble man
Van Gogh did not sign all
of his works, but on this
piece you will find his
displayed on the vase
directly in the middle of
the painting proving the
importance of this work
in his life.
Vincent van Gogh's Sunflower
paintings have been copied repeatedly
by artist and school children over the
years, but no one has been able to
duplicate the intensity, energy, and
passion found in Van Gogh’s. These
paintings have been displayed all over
the world, and copies appear on
everything from t-shirts and coffee
mugs to note pads and umbrellas.
Perhaps the most amazing feature of
the Sunflower Paintings is that artists
continue to copy the style that Van
Gogh created over one hundred years
“Not Only Can One Make A Mental Connection Between
The Artists Name And Painting But Also Between The Artist
And Their Influence On The Development Of Art
Through These Paintings.”
(Van Gogh’s Impact on Art)
Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers, 1888
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Oil on Canvas, 73 x 91 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)
“Van Gogh an Overview." Web. 07 Apr. 2012.
"Van Gogh Museum." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 June 2012. Web. 07 Apr.
"Vincent Van Gogh: Biography." Vincent Van Gogh Gallery. Web. 07 Apr. 2012.
Walther, Ingo F., Vincent Van Gogh, and Rainer Metzger. Vincent Van Gogh: The
Complete Paintings: Taschen, 1997. 408-11. Print.
"Van Gogh's Impact on Art." Vincent Van Gogh Gallery. Web. Mar.-Apr. 2012.
Sunflowers. Photograph. National Gallery, London. National Gallery London. Web. 20
Apr. 2012. <http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/vincent-van-goghsunflowers/*/key-facts>.
"Sunflowers: Vincent Van Gogh." The National Gallery, London: Western European
Painting 1250â€“1900. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/>.
Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers, 1888.
Van Gogh Museum. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.
Campbell, Glenn. "Sunflower." Rec. June 1977. MP3