Shortly after leaving the hospital at Saint-Rémy after a yearlong stay, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) produced four lush still life depictions of flowers, including blue ‘Irises. Van Gogh enjoyed using the innovative pigments available in the late nineteenth century, especially chrome yellow which he especially used to highlight the intensity of his sunflowers. Van Gogh began painting sunflowers after he left Holland for France in pursuit of creating an artistic community. The first decorated his friend Paul Gauguin’s bedroom and was created along with a great many others in Arles, France from1888-1889. Van Gogh did create some sunflower paintings prior to this time in Paris around 1887, but these are depicted lying on the ground as against the ones from Arles being painted in a vase.
Carolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian, Carolyn is an interior designer by trade. She has been involved in the creative sector for over thirty years in Australia; completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. She has over that time continuously conducted independent research , while designing, developing, and producing educational art and design history programs in conjunction with renowned specialist colleagues.