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Van Gogh's "Sunflowers

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Vincent van Gogh: “Sunflowers”

Without a doubt, when you ask someone who the most renowned and beloved artist in the world is, they are going to say Vincent van Gogh. He may be the most well known artist in history; from his most beautiful paintings to his tragic life and death, everyone knows something of van Gogh. Of course, of the works that come to mind with van Gogh, one of the few at the top will be “Sunflowers.” There are multiple versions of the sunflowers that van Gogh worked on in close proximity of time from 1888 to 1889. From van Gogh’s painting style and color use, and some traditional symbolism of sunflowers, we can look at the greater significance of the famous sunflower paintings.
To look at traditional symbolism of the sunflower, we have ideas that the sunflower “represents devotion to the sun” and possibly gratitude because its because of the sun that all plants can live (Seaton 55). Most likely the idea of devotion, admiration, and passion to the sun comes from the fact that sunflowers “turn their heads to the sun” which gives them their name ("Sunflower Symbolism…”). I would go as far as to say too that the fact that the flower is circular and is a mix of bright yellow petals with orangish red centers gives it the appearance of a sunflower.
Moving forward to Vincent van Gogh, we only have to go as far as the colors of his paintings to find what was important to him. Vincent van Gogh used paint in a way that I can not imagine anyone else could ever do, he used colors so powerfully, so clearly, that even if the image was not very clear, the feeling was. Van Gogh stated that “color expresses something in itself” and I think that the sunflowers are a great example of that (Wallace 102). From all of the versions of the flowers I have seen, van Gogh could take the same flowers, each day, and paint them to how he we feeling, rather than to how...

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