Van Gogh painted four still lifes of sunflowers in Paris in late summer 1887. There is an oil sketch for this picture (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) as well as another painting of two sunflowers also signed and dated 1887 (Kunstmuseum Bern), and a larger canvas showing four sunflower heads (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo). Paul Gauguin acquired the two smaller works, and until the mid-1890s, when he sold his most prized possessions to finance his South Seas voyage, they held pride of place above the bed in his Paris apartment.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Artist:Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:17 x 24 in. (43.2 x 61 cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1949
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): Vincent 87
Paul Gauguin, Paris (1887/88–96; acquired late 1887 or early 1888 from the artist by exchange; consigned to Vollard in 1895–96; sold on April 10, 1896, for Fr 225 through Georges Chaudet to Vollard); [Ambroise Vollard, Paris, from 1896; sold on either September 1, 1897, May 17, 1899, or July 12, 1899, to Hoogendijk]; Cornelis Hoogendijk, The Hague (1897 or 1899–d. 1911; on loan to Rijksmuseum voor Moderne Kunst, 1907–12; his estate sale, Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, May 21, 1912, no. 31, for fl. 4,100, possibly to Hessel); [?Josse Hessel, Paris, from 1912]; Alphonse Kann, Paris (until 1917; sold on December 19, 1917, for Fr 32,000 through Carl Montag to Bühler); E. Richard Bühler, Winterthur, Switzerland (1917–47; half share sold on October 1, 1928 to Thannhauser, stock no. 1296, later no. 1002; following an exchange of half shares in this work and a co-owned Daumier painting, full ownership transferred in 1947 to Thannhauser); [Justin K. Thannhauser, Lucerne, Paris, and New York, 1928–49; 1947–48, half share with Siegfried Rosengart, Lucerne, stock no. 1031; sold by Thannhauser, New York in April 1949 to MMA]
Paris. Grand Bouillon-Restaurant du Chalet. November–December 1887, no catalogue [see Pickvance 1984 and Welsh-Ovcharov 1988].
Kunsthaus Zürich. "Französische Kunst des XIX. und XX. Jahrhunderts," October 5–November 14, 1917, no. 109 (lent by A. K.).
Kunstverein Winterthur. "Meisterwerke aus Schweizer Privatbesitz," August 20–October 8, 1922, no. 52 (lent by E. Richard Bühler, Winterthur) [see La Faille 1928 and correspondence in archive file].
Kunstmuseum Basel. "Loan exhibition," 1932, no catalogue? [see notes in archive file].
Amsterdam. Stedelijk Museum. "Masterworks of the 19th and 20th Centuries," 1938, no catalogue? [see notes in archive file].
Pittsburgh. Carnegie Institute. "An Exhibition of Modern Dutch Art: 14 Paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Work by Contemporary Dutch Atists," February 5–March 1, 1943, cat. supplement (lent by J. K. Thannhauser) [see correspondence in archive file].
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Five Centuries of Dutch Art," March 9–April 9, 1944, no. 120 (lent by J. K. Thannhauser, Esq., New York).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Van Gogh: Paintings and Drawings," October 21, 1949–January 15, 1950, no. 60.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Van Gogh: Paintings and Drawings," February 1–April 15, 1950, no. 60.
Houston. Contemporary Arts Museum. "Vincent van Gogh," February 4–25, 1951, no. 5.
Utica, N.Y. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. "Masterpieces of French Impressionist Painting," March 29–April 26, 1953, no catalogue (continuing series of one painting at a time).
New York. Wildenstein. "Van Gogh," March 24–April 30, 1955, no. 12.
New York. Helena Rubenstein, Inc. "Art Window Display," November 21–29, 1963, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Van Gogh as Critic and Self-Critic," October 30, 1973–January 6, 1974, no. 6.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Van Gogh in Arles," October 18–December 30, 1984, no. 3.
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh. "Vincent van Gogh: Paintings," March 30–July 29, 1990, no. 17 (as "Still-Life with Two Sunflowers").
Art Institute of Chicago. "Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South," September 22, 2001–January 13, 2002, no. 23 (as "Two Sunflowers").
Amsterdam. Van Gogh Museum. "Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South," February 9–June 2, 2002, no. 23.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," September 14, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 113.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," February 17–May 13, 2007, no. 113.
Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "De Cézanne à Picasso: Chefs d'oeuvre de la galerie Vollard," June 19–September 16, 2007, no. 147.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Van Gogh: Up Close," February 1–May 6, 2012, unnumbered cat. (fig. 35).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence," March 12–July 29, 2018, unnumbered cat.
LOAN OF THIS WORK IS RESTRICTED.
Paul Gauguin. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. [December 1887] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b882 V/1962, http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let576/letter.html; pub. in Cooper 1983, pp. 180–81, letter no. GAC 24; Merlhès 1989, p. 56; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 576], states that he would like to pick up paintings by Van Gogh as part of a planned exchange, which is to include this work, from Boussod-Valadon.
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [July 15, 1888] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. nos. b551 a-b V/1962, http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let640/letter.html; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 510; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 640], writes that he exchanged works with Gauguin at the exhibition held in Paris in 1887.
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his sister Willemien. [July 31, 1888] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b705 V/1962, http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let653/letter.html; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. W5; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 653], mentions that he and Theo have a Gauguin painting of a Martinique landscape (W252; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), which they received in exchange for "a study of mine," probably referring to either this picture or F376 (Kunstmuseum Bern), both of which were owned by Gauguin.
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [January 17, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. nos. b618 a-c V/1962, http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let736/letter.html; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 571; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 736], states that Gauguin has two of his sunflower canvases (this picture and F376, Kunstmuseum Bern), "which he took in Paris".
Paul Gauguin. Letter to Charles Dosbourg. February 23, 1895 [published in James Cummins Bookseller, Catalogue 32, New York, Fall 1991, p. 25, no. 47], asks Dosbourg (Vollard's framer) to pick up from Vollard two Van Gogh paintings (this work and F376; an acknowledgment of receipt at the bottom of the letter, handwritten and signed by Dosbourg, indicates that both pictures are signed) and a Monet painting [the letter and receipt both make clear that these works were picked up from Vollard, not sent to him, as erroneously stated in the catalogue entry for the letter].
Paul Gauguin. Letter to Émile Schuffenecker. April 10, 1896 [excerpt transcribed in "Précieux Autographes Composant la Collection de Monsieur Alfred Dupont: Troisème Partie," sale cat., Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 3-4, 1958, lot 115], writes that Vollard wants to lower the price of the two little paintings of sunflowers by Van Gogh [this work and F376], and asks Schuffenecker to give Vollard the authorization to sell them for Fr 300 each [but see Welsh-Ovcharov 1998, where it is stated that Vollard had already sold both pictures, ours more than a year earlier for Fr 350].
Paul Gauguin. Letter to Daniel de Monfreid. December 1896 [published in Segalen 1920, no. 27, p. 157 and Annie Joly-Segalen, ed., "Lettres de Gauguin à Daniel de Monfreid," Paris: Georges Falaize, 1950, no. 27, p. 97], writes that Georges Chaudet, following de Monfreid's advice, lowered the price on two van Goghs as Vollard requested, and states that he has not heard about the paintings since [according to Welsh-Ovcharov 1998, the works are this painting and F376].
J.-B. de La Faille. L'Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh: Catalogue Raisonné. Paris, 1928, vol. 1, p. 105, no. 375; vol. 2, pl. 103.
Ambroise Vollard. Recollections of a Picture Dealer. London, 1936, p. 174, states that Gauguin had three Van Goghs hanging above his bed, a landscape flanked on each side by a painting of sunflowers (this work and F376).
J.-B. de La Faille. Vincent van Gogh. London, , pp. 215, 559, 583, 587, no. 278, ill.
Stephen Spender. "The Painter as a Poet." Art News Annual 19 (1950), p. 76, ill.
Margaretta M. Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures: Vincent van Gogh. New York, 1952, unpaginated, ill. (color).
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 43.
Vincent van Gogh. The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh with Reproductions of All the Drawings in the Correspondence. Greenwich, Conn., 1958, under letter nos. 510, 571, W5.
H. R. Graetz. The Symbolic Language of Vincent van Gogh. New York, 1963, p. 64, pl. 27.
Paolo Lecaldano. L'opera pittorica completa di Van Gogh e i suoi nessi grafici. Vol. 1, Da Etten a Parigi. repr. [1st ed., 1966]. Milan, 1977, p. 118, no. 442, ill. p. 118 and colorpl. 58.
Annet Tellegen. "Documentatie: Vincent en Gauguin." Museumjournaal voor Moderne Kunst, 11th ser., nos. 1-2 (1966), pp. 42–43, 51, ill., identifies this work as the second Van Gogh painting of sunflowers (along with F376) owned by Gauguin.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 181–82, ill.
J.-B. de La Faille. The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings. Amsterdam, 1970, pp. 174, 184, 626, no. 375, ill.
Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov. Vincent van Gogh: His Paris Period, 1886–1888. PhD diss., Universiteit Utrecht. Utrecht, 1976, pp. 110, 126 n. 62, p. 229.
Jan Hulsker. The Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. [1st ed., Amsterdam, 1977]. New York, 1980, pp. 292, 295, 298–99, no. 1329, ill.
Paul Hefting. Vincent van Gogh: A Detailed Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings by Vincent van Gogh in the Collection of the Kröller-Müller National Museum. 4th rev. ed. Otterlo, 1980, p. 81 [1st Dutch ed., 1957; 1st English ed., 1959].
Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov. Vincent van Gogh and the Birth of Cloisonism. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto, 1981, p. 147, discusses the 1887 exhibition held at the Grand Bouillon-Restaurant du Chalet in Paris [see Exhibitions].
Douglas Cooper. Paul Gauguin: 45 Lettres à Vincent, Théo et Jo van Gogh. The Hague, 1983, pp. 15, 27–28, 253, ill., does not accept Tellegen's argument [see Tellegen 1966] that Gauguin definitely owned both this picture and F376.
Carol Donnell-Kotrozo. Critical Essays on Postimpressionism. London, 1983, p. 57.
Ronald Pickvance. Van Gogh in Arles. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, pp. 36–37, no. 3, ill. (color), states that this work and F376 were exhibited at the Grand Bouillon-Restaurant du Chalet, Paris, sometime during November-December 1887, and that Van Gogh gave both canvases to Gauguin in exchange for one of Gauguin's Martinique landscapes (W252; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam); dates Vollard's recollection of seeing them in Gauguin's studio to 1893–94 [see Vollard 1936].
Haruo Arikawa inVincent van Gogh. Exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art. Tokyo, 1985, p. 204, ill.
Naomi Esther Margolis Maurer. "The Pursuit of Spiritual Knowledge: The Philosophical Meaning and Origins of Symbolist Theory and Its Expression in the Thought and Art of Odilon Redon, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin." PhD diss., University of Chicago, 1985, vol. 2, p. 726, vol. 3, fig. 133.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, pp. 10, 60, colorpl. 39.
Tsukasa Kodera in Anne Trembley. "Vincent van Gogh: Sonnenblumen 1887." Berner Kunstmitteilungen nos. 258–259 (November 1987–January 1988), p. 9.
Gary Tinterow inRecent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1986–1987. New York, 1987, p. 42.
Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov inVan Gogh à Paris. Exh. cat., Paris. Paris, 1988, pp. 154–55.
Anne Trembley. "Vincent van Goghs 'Sonnenblumen' von 1887 im Kunstmuseum Bern." Artis 40, nos. 7–8 (July–August 1988), p. 30, fig. 4 (color).
Judith Bumpus. Van Gogh's Flowers. Oxford, 1989, pp. 52, 54, colorpl. 28.
Victor Merlhès. Paul Gauguin et Vincent van Gogh, 1887–1888: Lettres retrouvées, sources ignorées. Taravao, Tahiti, 1989, p. 55 n. 2, argues that Van Gogh gave this painting and F376 to Gauguin in exchange for a "small Martinique scene" in late 1887 or early 1888, citing as evidence a Gauguin letter whose recipient and date are disputed; contends that the letter was written to Vincent in December 1887 and that it refers to the two sunflower paintings.
Evert van Uitert et al. Vincent van Gogh: Paintings. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. Milan, 1990, p. 65, no. 17, ill. p 67 (color), confuse the 1887 exhibition held at the Grand Bouillon-Restaurant du Chalet with an exhibition held at another Paris restaurant, called Le Tambourin [see Welsh-Ovcharov 1981 and Pickvance 1984].
Roland Dorn inVincent van Gogh and the Modern Movement: 1890–1914. Exh. cat., Museum Folkwang, Essen. Freren, Germany, 1990, p. 117, identifies a sunflower painting that Vollard bought from Roux in 1895 as F455 (Philadelphia Museum of Art) [on this matter see also Sutton 1990, Welsh-Ovcharov 1998, and Dorn 1999].
Peter C. Sutton. Northern European Paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: From the Sixteenth through the Nineteenth Century. Philadelphia, 1990, pp. 98, 103 n. 1, on the authority of Walter Feilchenfeldt, follows Dorn [see Dorn 1990] in identifying the sunflower painting that Vollard bought from Roux on October 23, 1895 as possibly F455 (Philadelphia Museum of Art).
Roland Dorn. Décoration: Vincent van Goghs Werkreihe für das Gelbe Haus in Arles. PhD diss., Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität zu Mainz. Hildesheim, 1990, p. 278 n. 272.
Joseph J. Rishel inMasterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, p. 202 n. 3.
Takanori Nagai inVincent van Gogh and Japan. Exh. cat., National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. [Tokyo?], 1992, p. 184, fig. 7.
Jan Hulsker. Vincent van Gogh: A Guide to His Work and Letters. Amsterdam, 1993, pp. 38, 53, 75, dates letter no. W5 to July 31, 1888 [see Gogh 1888]; corrects a passage in the French to English translation of letter no. 571 [see Gogh 1889].
Herbert Henkels. "Cezanne en Van Gogh in het Rijksmuseum voor Moderne Kunst in Amsterdam: de collectie van Cornelis Hoogendijk (1866–1911)." Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 41, nos. 3–4 (1993), p. 256, fig. 158, states that it was on loan to the Rijksmuseum from 1906 through 1912 during the period when Hoogendijk was confined to a mental institution until his death in 1911.
Alfred Nemeczek. "In Paris das Fest der Farben." Art no. 11 (November 1994), p. 29, ill. p. 4 and pp. 28–29 (all in color).
Denis Thomas. Van Gogh on Location. Edison, N.J., 1994, ill. pp. 66–67 (color).
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 494, ill.
Jan Hulsker. The New Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. rev. ed. Amsterdam, 1996, pp. 292, 298, 494, no. 1329, ill. p. 299.
Georg Klusmann. Vincent van Gogh: Still Life with Peonies. Mainburg, Germany, 1996, p. 74 n. 137.
Juleke van Lindert inVincent van Gogh and His Time: Still Lifes from the Van Gogh Museum and the H.W. Mesdag Museum. Exh. cat., Seiji Togo Memorial Yasuda Kasai Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 1996, pp. 62, 141, fig. 9.
Håkan Larsson. Flames from the South: On the Introduction of Vincent van Gogh to Sweden. Eslöv, 1996, p. 97.
Carol Zemel. Van Gogh's Progress. Berkeley, 1997, p. 188, discusses the 1887 Paris exhibition organized by Van Gogh.
Janice Anderson. Van Gogh's Flowers and Landscapes. New York, 1997, p. 28, ill. (color).
Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov. "The Ownership of Vincent van Gogh's 'Sunflowers'." Burlington Magazine 140 (March 1998), pp. 184–88, 191, fig. 32, states that Gauguin consigned this work and F376 to Vollard after the latter's visit to his studio during the winter of 1894–95, that Vollard sold this work to Félix Roux for Fr 350 on February 15, 1895, and that Vollard withheld news of the sale from Gauguin for over a year in hopes of persuading him to accept a lower price [on the identification of the work sold to Roux, see also Dorn 1999].
Roland Dorn. "Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' Series: The Fifth Toile de 30." Van Gogh Museum Journal (1999), pp. 48, 49 nn. 38, 39, pp. 51, 58, ill., provides detailed information on the provenance; identifies a sunflower painting Vollard sold to Roux on February 15, 1895 and bought back from him on October 23, 1895 as F376 [see Dorn 1990, Sutton 1990, and Welsh-Ovcharov 1998].
Anne Trembley in "Les soleils fanés de Vincent." L'amour de l'Art: Hommage à Paolo Cadorin. Ed. Théo-Antoine Hermanès et al. Milan, 1999, pp. 374, 379, fig. 11 (color), see Trembley 1988, which covers much of the same material.
Douglas Druick and Peter Kort Zegers et al. Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. New York, 2001, pp. 76–78, 82, 85, 220, 352, 377 n. 107, p. 405, no. 23, fig. 49 (color), as "Two Sunflowers"; date it summer 1887.
Louis van Tilborgh and Ella Hendriks. "The Tokyo 'Sunflowers': A Genuine Repetition by Van Gogh or a Schuffenecker Forgery?" Van Gogh Museum Journal (2001), p. 25 nn. 51–52, following the revised date and recipient for a Gauguin letter given in Merlhès 1989, argue that Van Gogh gave this painting and F376 to Gauguin in late 1887 or early 1888 in an exchange of works; state that Gauguin consigned both paintings to Vollard in 1895 for an advance of Fr 400, with an additional Fr 225 paid in 1896.
Debra N. Mancoff. Sunflowers. Chicago, 2001, p. 92, ill. pp. 5, 13, 92–93, back cover (color, detail and overall).
Victor Merlhès, ed. Paul Gauguin, Vincent e Theo van Gogh: Sarà sempre amicizia tra noi, Lettere 1887–1890. 2nd ed. [1st ed. 1991]. Milan, 2002, pp. 17, 336 n. 14, suggests that Gauguin chose two sunflower paintings [this work and F376] and gave van Gogh a small Martinique scene in exchange.
Hollis Clayson. "'Some Things Bear Fruit'? Witnessing the Bonds between Van Gogh and Gauguin." Art Bulletin 84 (December 2002), p. 672, fig. 2, contrasts the painting's formal characteristics with those of Gauguin's "Martinique (At the Pond's Edge)," (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) to illustrate van Gogh and Gauguin's different artistic personalities; critiques the exhibition's wall texts for muddling "the social and aesthetic significance" of this pair of works.
Fred Leeman. Der Sämann - Vincent van Gogh. Exh. cat., Villa Flora Winterhur. Bern, 2002, pp. 23, 53.
Daniel Wildenstein, Sylvie Crussard, and Martine Heudron. Gauguin, A Savage in the Making: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings (1873–1888). Milan, 2002, vol. 2, pp. 343–44, 353–54, 544, 607, ill., discuss Van Gogh's exchange of the work with Gauguin for Gauguin's "Riverside" and states that Gauguin received The Met painting "and/or" F376; states that Vincent's letter to Theo of 17 January 1889 shows that Vincent considered asking for the return of the exchanged works.
Jos ten Berge inThe Paintings of Vincent van Gogh in the Collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum. Ed. Toos van Kooten and Mieke Rijnders. Otterlo, 2003, pp. 181–82, discusses the painting in relation to three other Paris "Sunflowers" (F376, F377, and F452).
Sjraar van Heugten inVan Gogh and Flowers. Ed. Shôko Kobayashi. Exh. cat., Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 2003, pp. 24, 30.
Shôko Kobayashi inVan Gogh and Flowers. Ed. Shôko Kobayashi. Exh. cat., Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 2003, pp. 84, 91, fig. 7 (color).
Jonathan Pascoe Pratt inCézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Ed. Rebecca A. Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, pp. 49, 59 n. 38, fig. 49 (color) [French ed., "De Cézanne à Picasso: Chefs-d'oeuvre de la galerie Vollard," Paris, 2007, pp. 59, 68 n. 38, p. 334, no. 147, ill. p. 62 (color)], states that it was in the opening exhibition of Vollard's new gallery at 39, rue Laffitte, June 4–30, 1895, and reproduces exhibition reviews referring to "Sunflowers," but provides no other evidence and later states that "Sunflowers" could describe a number of paintings; suggests that Hoogendijk might have acquired it from Vollard after 1896.
Ann Dumas and Jonathan Pascoe Pratt inCézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Ed. Rebecca A. Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 374, no. 113, ill., give a critical review of the early provenance; argue that the painting was likely included in the inaugural exhibition of Vollard's gallery on rue Laffitte in 1895, because it was likely in the dealer's possession at the time; state that Vollard sold it to Hoogendijk after 1896.
Ella Hendriks and Louis van Tilborgh. New Views on Van Gogh's Development in Antwerp and Paris: An Integrated Art Historical and Technical Study of His Paintings in the Van Gogh Museum. PhD diss., Universiteit van Amsterdam. [Amsterdam], , pp. 133, 135, fig. 124b, compare the painting's formal characteristics to those of two related works (F376, Kunstmuseum Bern, and F377, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), which are studies for F452 (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo); state that this is the third of the studies.
Laura Ann Coyle. "The Still-Life Paintings of Vincent van Gogh and Their Context." PhD diss., Princeton University, September 2007, pp. 337, 352–53 n. 296, pp. 354–57, fig. 5.95.
Susan Alyson Stein inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 169, 255–56, no. 157, ill. (color and black and white).
Louis van Tilborgh. Van Gogh and the Sunflowers. Amsterdam, 2008, pp. 19, 22–23, 31–32, 35, 40, 45, 48, 69, ill. fig. 20 and back cover (color, overall and detail).
Susan Alyson Stein inMasterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, p. 196 n. 14.
Vincent van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh—The Letters. Ed. Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten, and Nienke Bakker. London, 2009, vol. 3, pp. 372–73, fig. 3 (color), under letter no. 576; vol. 4, p. 174, fig. 1 (color), under letter no. 640, pp. 206–7, fig. 9 (color), under letter no. 653, pp. 388–89, fig. 9 (color), under letter no. 736.
Ella Hendriks et al. Vincent van Gogh: Paintings. Vol. 2, Antwerp & Paris, 1885–1888: Van Gogh Museum. Amsterdam, 2011, pp. 452, 454–56, 575, fig. 124b (color), date it toward mid-September 1887 based on the appearance that the sunflowers are going to seed and the fact that sunflowers bloom from late July through mid-September; discourage an iconographic reading of the artist's use of the sunflower.
Louis van Tilborgh in Ella Hendriks et al. Vincent van Gogh: Paintings. Vol. 2, Antwerp & Paris, 1885–1888: Van Gogh Museum. Amsterdam, 2011, p. 21, fig. 12 (color).
Anabelle Kienle inVan Gogh: Up Close. Ed. Cornelia Homburg. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. New Haven, 2012, pp. 55, 200, 270, fig. 35 (color).
Martin Bailey. The Sunflowers Are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh's Masterpiece. London, 2013, pp. 36–37, 88, 123–24, 206–7, fig. 15 (color), calls it the third version of the subject; notes that the artist initially gave the work the same greenish-blue background as in his earlier oil sketch "Two Cut Sunflowers" (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) but then added the complementary bright blue layer to the orange-yellow sunflowers; calls the painting by Gauguin for which Van Gogh swapped this and the Bern picture "On the Shore of the Lake" (1887, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, W252; identified in Wildenstein 2002 as "Riverside"); notes that Gauguin's choice to display the two sunflower paintings in a triptych with "Ravine" (1889, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) was inspired by Van Gogh's own use of the triptych format to display later sunflower paintings; discusses Gauguin's sale of the painting to Vollard.
Walter Feilchenfeldt. Vincent van Gogh: The Years in France. Complete Paintings 1886–1890. London, 2013, pp. 62, 314, 316, 318, 320, 324, 341, 345, ill. (color) [1st German ed., 2009].
Ann Dumas inVan Gogh in Paris. Exh. cat., Eykyn Maclean. London, 2013, pp. 23, 27 n. 32, calls it "Sunflowers Gone to Seed".
Sjraar van Heugten. Van Gogh: Colours of the North, Colours of the South. Exh. cat., Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles. Arles, 2014, p. 100.
Peter Schjeldahl. "A Visit with Vincent." The New Yorker. August 12, 2014, unpaginated, ill. (color) [online only: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/visit-vincent].
Megan Fontanella inThe Thannhauser Gallery: Marketing Van Gogh. Ed. Stefan Koldehoff and Chris Stolwijk. Brussels, 2017, pp. 23, 35 n. 21, discusses Thannhauser's ownership.
Monique Hageman and Nora Koldehoff inThe Thannhauser Gallery: Marketing Van Gogh. Ed. Stefan Koldehoff and Chris Stolwijk. Brussels, 2017, p. 312.
Chris Stolwijk inThe Thannhauser Gallery: Marketing Van Gogh. Ed. Stefan Koldehoff and Chris Stolwijk. Brussels, 2017, p. 52, fig. 34 (color).
Stefan Koldehoff inThe Thannhauser Gallery: Marketing Van Gogh. Ed. Stefan Koldehoff and Chris Stolwijk. Brussels, 2017, pp. 228–29, no. 66, ill. (color), discusses Thannhauser's ownership.
Nora Koldehoff inThe Thannhauser Gallery: Marketing Van Gogh. Ed. Stefan Koldehoff and Chris Stolwijk. Brussels, 2017, pp. 304, 306.
Colta Ives. Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2018, pp. 158, 182, fig. 156 (color), states that Gauguin's choice to hang the sunflowers over his bed may have been a tribute to what he believed to be his shared origin with sunflowers, raised, as he was, in Peru.
Martin Bailey. Starry Night: Van Gogh at the Asylum. London, 2018, pp. 92, 201 n. 14, repeats his contention (see Bailey 2013) that Gauguin displayed The Met's and another sunflower picture in a triptych with the Boston landscape.
Megan Fontanella inThannhauser Collection: French Modernism at the Guggenheim. Ed. Megan Fontanella. New York, 2018, p. 289 n. 33, provides Thannhauser stock numbers for the painting.
Jill Shaw inVan Gogh in America. Ed. Jill Shaw. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 2022, p. 141.
This is one of a group of four related still lifes that Van Gogh painted in Paris during late summer 1887. The other three pictures are: F377 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), a smaller canvas usually regarded as a study for this work; F376 (Kunstmuseum Bern), also depicting two sunflowers; and F452 (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo), a larger painting depicting four sunflowers. Only the New York and Bern canvases are signed and dated.
Loan of this work is restricted.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can now connect to the most up-to-date data and images for more than 470,000 artworks in The Met collection. As part of The Met’s Open Access program, the data is available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise)
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.