|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|
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 of flowers. 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’. He believed that during his mental illness painting was a life-support to not break down once again. Thus, he kept painting and produced one of the major works during the time.
The influence of the Japanese Ukiyo-e Woodblock prints on artist’s mind is reflected here. The painting contains similar characteristics. 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.
About the used pallete, painting contains soft version of highly contrasting colors. Also, van Gogh has enriched the colors with different color shades and hues of any single color. No one color is in a flat, constant manner. The hard lines resembles to the Japanese Ukiyo-e paintings, as said above.
The compositione and view is limited on the plants itself. Most of the canvas is taken up by them. It resembles to a photographic technic in which a photographer takes a closeup of a ground in a way that the viewer is left with imagination of the surroundings which aren’t included in the composition. The same depiction method could be seen in November First by Andrew Wyeth.
Van Gogh’s Brother’s Letter From Societe des Artistes
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.