Vincent van Gogh was one of the great Post-Impressionist painters. After admitting himself to the Saint-Paul Asylum following a severe mental health crisis, he recuperated by painting the asylum’s garden. We are honoured to partner with Getty to bring Van Gogh’s stirring Irises study to our collection.
Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) was one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionist painters. The near spiritual excitement of his swirling brushwork, contoured forms and intense colour has had a powerful influence on the development of modern painting. Though much of his work, like this Irises study, is filled with brightness and light, Van Gogh’s own life was filled with personal turmoil.
A severe mental health crisis, in which he now-famously cut off his own ear, prompted Van Gogh to admit himself to the Saint-Paul Asylum at Saint-Rémy in the south of France. His recuperation began with painting of the asylum garden, Irises chief among the resulting output. The close study of nature was the foundation of Van Gogh’s art, as his precise delineation of individual flowers suggests, but he also brought to that study an astonishing degree of subjective intensity. One can emotionally feel the painting’s strong colours, thickly applied paint and powerful decorative rhythms, all of which convey the artist’s sense of nature’s surging vitality.
We are honoured to feature this seminal painting from the J. Paul Getty Museum in our collection.