Vase of Irises
Van Gogh's "Vase of Irises" was painted in 1890 during his voluntary stay at a mental asylum. The picture now resides at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In this painting, he dispenses with his previously blatant small brush strokes, and instead relies on a heavy impasto and black outlines to provide texture and depth. The palette Van Gogh chose for this, one of his last paintings, was cooler and less boisterous that most of his previous canvases, employing gorgeous purples, greens and blues against a formal light background and white vase, with shots of yellow inside the bouquet for contrast. A green table repeats the green iris stalks that comprise the body of the flower arrangement and give it its graceful vertical sweep.
This painting can be seen as a return to japonism in its oriental formality, woodcut-like outlines and reliance on the play between ground and foreground. In oriental art, the light space is as important as the dark space, a balance between "yin and yang." You can see serenity created from the irises during his time of greatest tumult. So take this reproduced van Gogh's lovely "Vase of Irises with you," a sense of tranquil beauty created during your time of hustle and bustle.
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