Van Gogh: Irises and Roses at The MET Museum

Van Gogh Irises and RosesVincent van Gogh, Roses, 1890

Van Gogh: Irises and Roses at The MET Museum

The exuberant bouquets of spring flowers that punctuate Van Gogh’s work in Provence are reunited in Van Gogh: Irises and Roses at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, through August 16, 2015. The exhibition brings together for the first time the quartet of flower paintings – two of irises, two of roses, in contrasting formats and color schemes – that Van Gogh made on the eve of his departure from the asylum at Saint-Rémy. In them, he sought to impart a “calm, unremitting ardor” to his “last stroke of the brush.” 

Van Gogh Irises and Roses Vincent van Gogh, Irises, 1890

Conceived as a series or ensemble on a par with the Sunflower decoration he painted earlier in Arles, the group includes the Metropolitan Museum’s Irises and Roses and their counterparts: the upright Irises from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and the horizontal Roses from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. The presentation is timed to accord with the blooming of the flowers that had captivated the artist’s attention, opening 125 years to the week that Van Gogh announced he was working on these “large bouquets” in letters to his brother dated May 11 and 13, 1890.

Van Gogh Irises and Roses Vincent van Gogh, Irises, 1890 Vincent van Gogh, Irises, 1890

It offers a revealing look at the signature still lifes in a singular context, inviting reconsideration of his artistic aims and the impact of dispersal and color fading on his intended results. The Museum’s initiative in reuniting the group of four paintings has been the stimulus for new technical and documentary investigations, undertaken in close collaboration with researchers, conservators, and scientists at the lending institutions. 

Van Gogh Irises and RosesVincent van Gogh, Roses, 1890

These findings are introduced in the exhibition, which includes digital color reconstructions, based on extensive analysis and comparative study. The installation presents the paintings in the order in which they were realized, and in frames adapted from the artist’s profile but designed to be unobtrusive, so that the unfolding logic and verve of Van Gogh’s four-part painting campaign may be fully appreciated.

Van Gogh: Irises and Roses
Until August 16, 2015
The Metropolitam Museum Of Art, NY

more. www.metmuseum.org

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