|Painter Name||Vincent Van Gogh|
|Place of Creation||France|
|Size||71 cm × 93 cm (28 in × 36.625 in)|
|Current Location||J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles California|
Surprisingly sold for $ 59.3 million in 1987 breaking the record for highest price for a painting at the time, The Irises was initially a study as there are no available drafts for it. It was accomplished by the artist during his stay in the asylum of Saint Remy. He was moved there after getting treated for his mental illness at the hospital of Arles. We can see that the majority of collectors are more interested in those paintings which were produced while van Gogh was mentally ill and was taking treatment.
Van Gogh personally called this painting ‘the lightning conductor for my illness’ meaning that he believed that during his mental illness paintings could be a life-support to not break down again. Thus, he kept painting and produced one of the major works. Irises also got its name on the list.
The influence of the Japanese Ukiyo-e Woodblock prints on artist’s mind is reflected here. The painting contains similar characteristics as the Ukiyo-e Woodblock prints where Ukiyo-e means ‘floating world’ in Japanese. They are like the flat colors without considering the fall of light, strong outlines to the objects and some unusual angle which was not used before in his painting.
Combining different arts makes the artist’s skill more mature and gives us the best of the arts at one place. It became true instantly when artist’s brother Theo represented this painting in the annual exhibition of Societe des Artistes, with his another painting titled Starry Night over the Rhone. Both stirred up considering amount of talk as his brother Theo wrote in his letter: “It strikes the eyes from afar. The Irises are a beautiful study of air and life.’
It is very ironic that the first time this painting was sold only for 300 francs and today it ranks at 10th position in the inflation-adjusted list of most expensive paintings.