Roses (1890)

Van Gogh, Vincent (1853-1890)

Oil on canvas, 93 x 74 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

On the eve of his departure from the asylum in Saint-Rémy in May 1890, Van Gogh painted an exceptional group of four still lifes, to which both the Museum‘s Roses and Irises (58.187) belong. These bouquets and their counterparts—an upright composition of irises (Van Gogh MuseumAmsterdam) and a horizontal composition of roses (National Gallery of ArtWashington)—were conceived as a series or ensemble, on a par with the earlier sunflower decoration he made in Arles. Traces of pink along the tabletop and rose petals in the present painting, which have faded over time, offer a faint reminder of the formerly more vivid “canvas of pink roses against a yellow-green background in a green vase.” (MET)

See also:

• Van Gogh, Anna Carbentus (1819-1907)