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 Met's Roses and Irises (58.187) belong. These bouquets and their counterparts—an upright composition of irises (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) and a horizontal composition of roses (National Gallery of Art, Washington)—were conceived as a series or ensemble. 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."
This painting was seized by the Nazis from Georg Simon Hirschland (1885–1942) in Essen in 1939, following Hirschland's emigration to the United States in 1938. It was restituted to his heirs in New York in 1950.
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:36 5/8 x 29 1/8 in. (93 x 74 cm)
Credit Line:The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1993, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002
For more information on this painting, including technical information on color fading, see the exhibition page for Van Gogh: Irises and Roses.
the artist's mother, Anna van Gogh-Carbentus, Leiden (until d. 1907; her estate, 1907–8; sold by her daughter-in-law, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, between March 24 and 31, 1908 with The Met 58.187 and F814 for fl. 8,150 to Cassirer); [Cassirer, Berlin, 1908, Einkaufsbücher, no. 8470, as “Rosen”; sold in March for 9,000 marks to Margarete Oppenheim]; Franz and Margarete Oppenheim, Berlin (1908–his d. 1929); his widow, Margarete Oppenheim, Berlin (1929–d. 1935; her estate; thought to have been sold in or after November 1935, when it was on the market for 130,000 marks, to Hirschland); Georg Simon Hirschland, Essen, later Scarsdale, N.Y. (by 1938–d. 1942; in 1939, the year following Hirschland’s emigration, the Folkwang Museum, Essen, took possession of the painting, which was restituted in July 1950 to Hirschland’s heirs in New York [for details see Notes]; sold by the Hirschland family, apparently through Myrtil Frank, New York, on March 16, 1951 for $100,000 to Wildenstein); [Wildenstein, New York, 1951; sold on March 26 for $135,000 to Lasker]; Mr. and Mrs. Albert D. Lasker, New York (1951–his d. 1952); his widow, Mrs. Mary Lasker, New York (1952–77; sold on January 3, 1977, with two paintings by Renoir, "Geraniums and Cats" and "Boating (Young Girl in a Boat)," to Marlborough); [Marlborough International Fine Art, London and New York, 1977–78; sold on April 21 to Annenberg]; Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, California (1978–93; jointly with The Met, 1993–his d. 2002)
Paris. Apartment of Theo van Gogh (6, Cité Pigalle) or Shop of Julien-François Tanguy (14, rue Clauzel). September 1890, no catalogue [this work and/or F681; see Beaubourg 1890].
Amsterdam. Stedelijk Museum. "Tentoonstelling van Schilderijen en Teekeningen door Vincent van Gogh," July–August 1905, no. 157 (as "Rozen," lent by Mevrouw de Wed. van Gogh, Leiden; see "Notes" field).
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune & Cie. "Les Fleurs et Natures Mortes," November 14–30, 1907, no. 25 (as "Roses").
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "Cent tableaux de Vincent van Gogh," January 6–February 1, 1908, no. 86 (as "Roses au pot vert").
Berlin. Paul Cassirer. "X. Jahrgang. VII. Ausstellung," March 5–22, 1908, no. 19 (as "Rosen").
Berlin. Paul Cassirer. "Vincent van Gogh: Zehnte Ausstellung," May–June 1914, no. 134 (as "Rosen," lent by Geheimrat Dr. F. Oppenheim, Berlin).
Berlin. Paul Cassirer. "Vincent van Gogh: Gemälde," January 15–March 1, 1928, no. 71 (as "Weisse Rosen," lent by a private collector, Berlin).
New York. Wildenstein. "Masterpieces from Museums and Private Collections," November 8–December 15, 1951, no. 55 (as "White Roses," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Albert D. Lasker).
Paris. Orangerie des Tuileries. "La Nature morte de l'antiquité à nos jours," April 16–June 1952, no. 102 (as "Roses blanches," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Albert D. Lasker, New York).
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "An Exhibition of Sixty-Nine Paintings from the Collection of Mrs. Albert D. Lasker," March 6–29, 1953, no. 37 (as "White Roses").
San Francisco. California Palace of the Legion of Honor. "An Exhibition of Sixty-Seven Paintings from the Collection of Mrs. Albert D. Lasker," March 17–April 4, 1954, no. 35 (as "White Roses").
Santa Barbara, Calif. Santa Barbara Museum of Art. "Fruits and Flowers in Painting: An Exhibition Spanning Five Centuries of Art in the Western World," August 12–September 14, 1958, no. 52 (as "White Roses," lent by Mrs. Albert D. Lasker, New York).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 7–September 7, 1959, no. 54 (as "White Roses," lent by Mrs. Albert D. Lasker).
New York. Wildenstein. "Olympia's Progeny," October 28–November 27, 1965, no. 60 (as "Les Roses blanches," lent by Mrs. Albert D. Lasker).
New York. Christie's. "Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Their Circle," November 14–30, 1968, no. 15 (as "White Roses," lent by Mrs. Albert D. Lasker).
New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Masterpieces in Bloom," April 5–May 5, 1973, no. 27 (as "White Roses in a Vase").
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat.
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Van Gogh: Irises and Roses," May 12–August 16, 2015, no catalogue.
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT, BY TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION BY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [May 13, 1890] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. nos. b683 a-b V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 634; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 872], writes that he has "just finished a canvas of pink roses against [a] yellow-green background in a green vase," referring to this picture.
Vincent van Gogh. Draft of a letter to his sister Willemien. [on or about May 21, 1890] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b721 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. W21; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. RM19], writes "in the last few days at St-Rémy I worked in a frenzy. Big bouquets of flowers, violet irises, big bouquets of roses".
Vincent van Gogh. Draft of a letter to his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo van Gogh-Bonger. [May 24, 1890] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b696 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 648; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. RM20], mentions at least eight canvases still in Saint-Rémy (of which this was one) which show that he is "trying not to lose my touch".
Vincent van Gogh. Draft of a letter to Joseph Jacob Isaäcson. [May 25, 1890] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b663 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 614a; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. RM21], states that since their last correspondence he has made "a few studies of flowers" and describes them as "an avalanche of roses against a green background (this work and/or F681) and a very large bouquet of violet Irises against yellow background, against pink background".
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his sister Willemien. [June 5, 1890] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b722 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. W22; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 879], writes "in the last few days at St-Rémy I worked like a man in a frenzy, especially on bouquets of flowers. Roses and violet Irises".
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [June 24, 1890] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b692V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 644; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 891], mentions that the canvases have arrived from Saint-Rémy, including "some roses".
Theo van Gogh. Letter to his sister Willemien. August 24, 1890 [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; excerpted and trans. in Jan Hulsker, "what Theo really thought of Vincent," vincent: bulletin of the Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, vol. 3, no. 2 (1974), pp. 25–26], mentions that Vincent's works from Auvers are at Tanguy's.
Maurice Beaubourg. "La Mort de Dubois-Pillet et de Vincent van-Gogh." La revue indépendante 16 (September 1890), p. 401 [excerpted and trans. in Stein 1986, p. 260], in an essay citing works on view in Paris 1890, remarks "Des fleurs aussi, iris ou roses, se détachant crûment sur des fonds jaunes, rose, vert Véronèse [this work and/or F681]" (Some flowers as well, irises or roses, stand out crudely against yellow, pink, and Veronese-green backgrounds).
Cecilia Waern. "Some Notes on French Impressionism." Atlantic Monthly 69 (April 1892), p. 541 [excerpted in Stein 1986, p. 292], referring to an earlier visit, writes that she saw in Gauguin's studio works by Van Gogh, including "some splendidly conventionalized flowers,— gorgeous sunflowers, and huge white roses on an apple-green background" [possibly this work].
Julius Meier-Graefe. Entwicklungsgeschichte der Modernen Kunst. Stuttgart, 1904, vol. 1, p. 119 n. 1, writes that Van Gogh's mother, The Hague, owns "Zwei Blumenstilleben 'Roses' [this picture] und 'Iris' [MMA 58.187] und mehrere kleinere Bilder".
Giovanni [Jan Kalff]. "De Vincent van Gogh-tentoonstelling. II." Algemeen Handelsblad (July 25, 1905), p. 9, calls it "witte rozen" and discerns a Japanese influence in the lack of shadow, the arrangement, and the distribution over the canvas.
"Petites expositions: Fleurs et natures mortes (Galerie Bernheim)." Chronique des arts et de la curiosité, supplément à la Gazette des beaux-arts no. 37 (November 30, 1907), p. 348.
Charles Saunier. "Notes d’art." Le magasin pittoresque (supplément) 76 (January 1, 1908), p. 3, calls it and The Met 58.187 “fleurs d'une fraicheur et d'un parfum pénétrants” (flowers of a penetrating freshness and fragrance).
[François] Thiebault-Sisson. "Au jour le jour: Choses d’art, Vincent Van Gogh." Le temps 48 (January 8, 1908), p. 3, mentions “les grandes études de roses blanches” (large studies of white roses), referring to this work and F681 (National Gallery, Washington); compares these and the artist’s late landscapes to multicolored silks embroidered in the Japanese style.
Alfred-Jousselin. "Les Petits Salons: Van Gogh à la galerie Bernheim." Le Radical 28 (January 19, 1908), p. 2, describes it and “Iris” (The Met 58.187) as having “un dessin et une facture vraiment magistraux, qui nous donnent une idée des effets délicieux d'harmonie auxquels voulait et pouvait atteindre Van Gogh (a truly masterful design and facture, which give us an idea of the delicious effects of harmony which Van Gogh wanted and could achieve); notes its price as 12,000 francs.
Marius-Ary Leblond. "Les Expositions: Van Gogh (aux galeries Bernheim et Druet)." La Grande Revue (January 25, 1908), p. 380, notes paintings of roses, referring to this work and F681 (National Gallery, Washington), in which the artist “contourne et délimite l’orfèvrerie” (traces and defines goldsmithery) of flowers over backgrounds that are like “les différentes atmosphères essentielles aux phases de l’illumination progressive du ciel par le grand jour” (the different atmospheres essential to the phases of the gradual illumination of the sky by daylight).
Paul Cassirer. Letter to Johanna Cohen-Gosschalk-Bonger [Johanna van Gogh-Bonger]. March 10, 1908 [published in Echte and Feilchenfeldt 2011–16, vol. 3, p. 696], offers Van Gogh-Bonger thirteen thousand marks for this painting and two others (The Met 58.187 and F814).
Anna Behnisch-Kappstein. "Berliner Kunstbrief." Schwäbischer Merkur no. 134 (March 20, 1908), p. 2 [reprinted in Echte and Feilchenfeldt 2011–16, vol. 3, p. 700], praises its execution.
W-r. [Albert Weidner]. "Salon Cassirer." Die Welt am Montag no. 12 (March 23,1908) [see Echte and Feilchenfeldt 2011–16, vol. 3, p. 704], calls it and two other still lifes in the exhibition [The Met 58.187 and F454] enchanting.
Paul Cassirer. Letter to Johanna Cohen-Gosschalk-Bonger [Johanna van Gogh-Bonger]. March 24, 1908 [published in Echte and Feilchenfeldt 2011–16, vol. 3, p. 704], states that he would like to buy it and two other pictures [The Met 58.187 and F814] for eight thousand guilders.
Anna Plehn. "Bildende Kunst. Gogh." Sozialistische Monatshefte no. 8 (April 16, 1908), pp. 522–23 [see Echte and Feilchenfeldt 2011–16, vol. 3, p. 712], calls it “ein großer Busch grünlichweißer Rosen vor heller Wand” [a large bunch of greenish-white roses in front of a light-colored wall]; states that it looks like it was “aus der Tube statt mit dem Pinsel gemalt” [painted from a tube instead of with a brush] but is nevertheless convincing at close range; notes that the shadows cast by the impasto paint strokes contribute to the modeling of the subject and wonders what would become of this effect under different lighting conditions; compares it to mosaic on gold ground and lacquer, which are likewise transformed by their surroundings, but declares that such accidental effects are not compatible with great artistic intentions.
Ambroise Vollard, ed. Lettres de Vincent van Gogh à Émile Bernard. Paris, 1911, pl. 93, as "Les Roses".
Julius Meier-Graefe. Vincent. Munich, 1921, vol. 1, p. 219; vol. 2, pl. 94 [English ed., "Vincent van Gogh," London, 1922, vol. 2, pl. 94; later English ed., New York, 1933, pl. 54], as "Rosenstilleben".
Gustave Coquiot. Vincent van Gogh. Paris, 1923, p. 317, as "Roses au pot vert".
J.-B. de La Faille. L'Epoque française de Van Gogh. Paris, 1927, p. 60.
J.-B. de La Faille. L'Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh: Catalogue Raisonné. Paris, 1928, vol. 1, p. 194, no. 682; vol. 2, pl. 192, as "Les roses blanches," dated May 1890; describes it as "une grande gerbe de roses blanches, dont quelques-unes sont légèrement teintées de rose, s'élèvent d'un simple vase de faïence vert Véronese foncé, cerné d'un trait bleu d'outremer. Le vase est posé sur une table lilas rose pâle sur laquelle sont jetées de chaque côté du vase quelques feuilles. Font vert Véronèse pâle (a large bunch of white roses, a few of which are slightly tinged with pink, stand in a faience vase of dark Veronese green, outlined in ultramarine blue. The vase is placed on a pale lilac-pink table on which a few leaves are strewn, on each side of the vase. Pale Veronese-green background).
Hanfstaengl-Drucke: Grosse Farbige Wiedergaben nach Meisterwerken der Malerei. Munich, [1929–30], pp. XXI, 28, ill., advertises large color reproductions of this painting, calling it "Weiße Rosen" and dating it 1888.
Kurt Pfister. Vincent van Gogh. 2nd revised ed. Berlin, 1929, pl. 66, as "Weisse Rosen".
Fritz Knapp. Vincent van Gogh. Bielefeld, 1930, p. 56, pl. 33, as "Weisse Rosen".
Catalogue des photographies d'oeuvres d'art: Procédés E. Druet, peintures et sculptures modernes. Paris, [193–?], p. 111, no. 7218, advertises photographic reproductions of this painting, calling it "Nature morte, roses dans un pot".
W. Scherjon. Catalogue des tableaux par Vincent van Gogh décrits dans ses lettres. Périodes: St. Rémy et Auvers sur Oise. Utrecht, 1932, p. 114, no. 113, ill., as "Roses dans un vase vert".
Walter Pach. Vincent van Gogh, 1853–1890. New York, 1936, pl. 6.
Wilhelm Uhde and Ludwig Goldscheider. Vincent van Gogh. Vienna, 1936, p. 14, mentions "weisse Rosen in einer Vase," referring to this work and/or the Washington picture.
W. Scherjon and Jos. De Gruyter. Vincent van Gogh's Great Period: Arles, St. Rémy and Auvers sur Oise (complete catalogue). Amsterdam, 1937, p. 304, St. Rémy no. 113, ill., as "Pink Roses in Green Vase".
Alexander Dorner. Vincent van Gogh: Blumen und Landschaften. Berlin, 1937, p. 16, colorpl. 5, as in a private collection, Berlin.
A. M. Bremmer-Beekhuis. Dienaar der Kunst. 1937–41, p. 156 [Gemeentearchief, The Hague; 0836–01 Familie Bremmer, nos. 6–8], cites H.P. Bremmer's recollection [on the occasion of a speech given at the Van Gogh commemoration at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, July 29, 1940] that the "large canvas with the 'White Roses'" hung in the vestibule of the house where the artist's mother and sister Willemien lived at Riowstraat 72 in The Hague, placing the date "before 1900" and noting that Willemien was still healthy [she was institutionalized in 1902].
J.-B. de La Faille. Vincent van Gogh. London, , pp. 485, 560, 581, 588, no. 703, ill., as in the collection of G. Hirschland, Essen.
W[ilhelm]. Uhde and Ludwig Goldscheider. Vincent van Gogh. New York, 1941, p. 11 [German ed., Vienna, 1936].
Thomas Carr Howe, Jr. Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art. Indianapolis, 1946, p. 232, describes seeing this picture at the Allied Central Collecting Point in Marburg, Germany among works of art from German museums that had been recovered from safekeeping in mines.
John E. Cross. Vincent van Gogh. New York, 1947, no. 22, ill. (color).
Wilhelm Uhde and Ludwig Goldscheider. Vincent van Gogh. 3rd ed. Vienna, , p. 14.
W. Sandberg. "Rembrandt, Hokousaï, Van Gogh." Verve 7, nos. 27–28 (1952), ill. p. 56 (color).
Charles Sterling. La Nature morte de l'antiquité à nos jours. Paris, 1952, p. 104, pl. 100 [English ed., New York 1959, pp. 114–15, pl. 100].
John Rewald. Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin. 1st ed. New York, 1956, pp. 380, 383, ill. p. 381(color) [3rd, rev. ed., 1978, pp. 354–55, ill. p. 351 (color)].
Jean Leymarie. Van Gogh: Arles, Saint-Rémy. Paris, 1956, unpaginated, colorpl. 15.
Wallace Brockway. The Albert D. Lasker Collection: Renoir to Matisse. New York, , p. 27, ill. p. 28 (color).
"Collector's Prize." Time 71 (January 6, 1958), pp. 38–39, ill.
Peter Selz inFruits and Flowers in Painting: An Exhibition Spanning Five Centuries of Art in the Western World. Exh. cat., Santa Barbara Museum of Art. [Santa Barbara, Calif.], 1958, pp. 10, 22, no. 52, ill., as "White Roses".
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. 614a, 634, 644, W21, W22.
Edward R. Murrow Mary Lasker in Interview between Edward R. Murrow and Mary Lasker. May 22, 1959 [published online through the Lasker Foundation website, http://www.laskerfoundation.org/about/murrow.html, accessed 2/11/08], states that Albert D. Lasker bought it in 1951.
John T. Mason Jr. Mary Lasker in Interview between John T. Mason Jr. and Mary Lasker. November 1, 1963 [interview conducted under the auspices of the Columbia University Libraries Oral History Research Office, pt. 1, session 23, pp. 712–13, published online at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/digital/collections/nny/laskerm/index.html, accessed 2/11/08], recounts Albert D. Lasker's purchase of this painting from Wildenstein.
Alfred Frankfurter inGreat Private Collections. Ed. Douglas Cooper. New York, 1963, pp. 230, 236, ill. (color), describes it hanging with Van Gogh's "The Zouave" (F 424) in the Laskers' drawing room.
J.-B. de La Faille. The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings. Amsterdam, 1970, pp. 267, 638, no. 682, ill., as "Still Life: Roses in Green Pot"; lists some early provenance information that conflicts with that of Feilchenfeldt [Ref. 1988].
Paolo Lecaldano. L'opera pittorica completa di Van Gogh e i suoi nessi grafici. Vol. 2, Da Arles a Auvers. repr. [1st ed., 1966]. Milan, 1971–77, p. 229, no. 793, ill. p. 226.
Matthias Arnold. "Duktus und Bildform bei Vincent van Gogh." PhD diss., Ruprecht-Karl University, Heidelberg, 1973, pp. 121, 188 nn. 215, 219, p. 192 n. 346.
J. Hulsker, ed. Van Gogh door Van Gogh. De brieven als commentaar op zijn werk. Amsterdam, 1973, pp. 203, 205–7, 209, 220, identifies references to the painting in the artist's letters.
Jan Hulsker. The Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. [1st ed., Amsterdam, 1977]. New York, 1980, pp. 450, 452, no. 1979, ill. p. 453, as "Vase with Pink Roses".
Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov. Vincent van Gogh and the Birth of Cloisonism. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto, 1981, p. 158.
Susan Alyson Stein, ed. Van Gogh: A Retrospective. New York, 1986, pp. 260 [this work and/or F681], 292 [possibly this work], excerpts Beaubourg 1890 and Waern 1892.
Ronald Pickvance The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy and Auvers. New York, 1986, pp. 72, 187, fig. 46.
Walter Feilchenfeldt. Vincent van Gogh & Paul Cassirer, Berlin: The Reception of Van Gogh in Germany from 1901 to 1914. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1988, pp. 27, 29, 66, 112, 141, 146, 150, 155, 157, ill. pp. 64 (color) and 112.
Catherine Barnett. "A Very Private View: Inside Walter Annenberg's Personal Paradise." Art & Antiques 6 (March 1989), pp. 96, 99, ill. p. 97 (color).
Colin B. Bailey. "La Collection Annenberg." L'Oeil nos. 408–9 (July–August 1989), colorpl. 9.
Judith Bumpus. Van Gogh's Flowers. Oxford, 1989, pp. 19, 45, colorpl. 10.
Walter Feilchenfeldt. "Van Gogh Fakes: The Wacker Affair, with an Illustrated Catalogue of the Forgeries." Simiolus 19, no. 4 (1989), p. 308, ill., identifies a forged van Gogh (F 681bis) painted after our work while it was in the Oppenheim collection, Berlin.
Evert van Uitert et al. Vincent van Gogh: Paintings. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. Milan, 1990, p. 254.
Roland Dorn inVincent van Gogh and the Modern Movement: 1890–1914. Exh. cat., Museum Folkwang, Essen. Freren, Germany, 1990, pp. 144, 175 n. 2.
Walter Feilchenfeldt inVincent van Gogh and the Modern Movement: 1890–1914. Exh. cat., Museum Folkwang, Essen. Freren, Germany, 1990, p. 44, states that Bernheim-Jeune found this work and MMA 58.187 "too expensive" and that Cassirer subsequently bought them from Van Gogh's mother's estate, selling the present painting to Fritz [sic] Oppenheim.
Jan Hulsker. Vincent and Theo van Gogh: A Dual Biography. Ed. James M. Miller. trans. and rev. ed. [1st ed.,1985]. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1990, p. 414.
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, pp. 110–11, 201–2, ill. (color and black and white), discusses the coloration of the roses, and the partial fading of pigment from pink to white, noting that the change probably began early on.
Gary Tinterow. "Miracle au Met." Connaissance des arts no. 472 (June 1991), pp. 39, 41, ill. (color).
Jérôme Coignard. "Le Salon de peinture de Mr. et Mrs. Annenberg." Beaux arts no. 92 (July–August 1991), p. 72.
Charles S. Moffett inArt for the Nation: Gifts in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art. Ed. Jane Sweeney. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1991, p. 238.
Jan Hulsker. Vincent van Gogh: A Guide to His Work and Letters. Amsterdam, 1993, pp. 42, 57–58, 76, dates letter no. 644 to June 24 or 25, 1890, letter no. W21 to about May 20, 1890, and letter no. W22 to about June 5, 1890; lists all the works mentioned in the letters, and corrects passages of the French to English translation [see Refs. van Gogh 1890].
Ingo F. Walther and Rainer Metzger. Vincent van Gogh: The Complete Paintings. Cologne, 1993, vol. 2, ill. p. 624 (color) [German ed., "Vincent van Gogh: Sämtliche Gemälde," 1989], as "Still Life: Pink Roses in a Vase".
Susan Alyson Stein in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1993–1994." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 52 (Fall 1994), p. 52, ill. p. 53 (color).
Matthias Arnold. Vincent van Gogh: Werk und Wirkung. Munich, 1995, pp. 290–91.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 498, ill. p. 499.
Jan Hulsker. The New Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. rev. ed. Amsterdam, 1996, pp. 450, 452, 496, no. 1979, ill. p. 453, as "Vase with Pink Roses".
Cynthia Saltzman. Portrait of Dr. Gachet: The Story of a Van Gogh Masterpiece. New York, 1998, pp. 110, 234, states that Cassirer sold it for DM 9,000 in March 1908.
Ira Berkow. "Jewels in the Desert." Art News 97 (May 1998), p. 147, ill. (color, installation photo).
Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov. Van Gogh in Provence and Auvers. [New York], 1999, ill. p. 225 (color).
Colin B. Bailey and John Collins. Van Gogh's Irises: Masterpiece in Focus. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa, 1999, p. 18.
Ronald Pickvance. Van Gogh. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2000, pp. 59, 63, 112, 115.
David Grossvogel. Behind the Van Gogh Forgeries: A Memoir. San Jose, Calif., 2001, p. 134.
Chris Stolwijk and Han Veenenbos. The Account Book of Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger. Amsterdam, 2002, pp. 148, 184, ill., identify it as one of three paintings sold by Van Gogh-Bonger for 8,150 guilders to Paul Cassirer in 1908, noting that Van Gogh-Bonger recorded only one of these works ("Garden"; F814; private collection) in her account book, since the other two (this work and "Irises"; F680; MMA, 58.187) came from the estate of her mother-in-law, Anna Van Gogh-Carbentus, who had died in 1907.
Walter Feilchenfeldt. By Appointment Only: Cézanne, Van Gogh and Some Secrets of Art Dealing. English ed. London, 2006, p. 64, ill. p. 101 (color), as "Roses" and "Roses in a Terracotta Pot"; identifies it as the painting copied by Otto Wacker for a fake Van Gogh (F681bis) and suggests that Wacker might have had access to our painting, since it was then in the Oppenheim collection, Berlin.
Zsuzsa Gonda inVan Gogh in Budapest. Ed. Judit Geskó. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts. Budapest, 2006, pp. 358-59.
Stefan Koldehoff inVan Gogh and Expressionism. Ed. Jill Lloyd and Michael Peppiatt. Exh. cat., Neue Galerie, New York. Ostfildern, 2007, p. 171, states that Cassirer sold it to Franz and Margaret Oppenheim, Berlin, for 9,000 DM in March 1908.
Laura Ann Coyle. "The Still-Life Paintings of Vincent van Gogh and Their Context." PhD diss., Princeton University, September 2007, pp. 476–79, fig. 7.12, the reproduction is identified as 7.12 in the text, but misnumbered as 7.11 in the illustration section.
Susan Alyson Stein inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 174–75, 260–61, no. 163, ill. (color and black and white).
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, pp. 221, 233–34.
Joseph J. Rishel 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, pp. ix, 225–28, no. 42, ill. (color) and p. vi (installation photo).
Vincent van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh—The Letters. Ed. Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten, and Nienke Bakker. London, 2009, vol. 5, pp. 236–37, fig. 1 (color), under letter no. 872, pp. 250, 254, fig. 11 (color), under letter no. 879, p. 268, fig. 4 (color), under letter no. 891, p. 317, fig. 3 (color), under letter no. RM19, pp. 320–21, fig. 11 (color), under letter no. RM21.
Veronica Grodzinski. "The Art Dealer and Collector as Visionary: Discovering Vincent van Gogh in Wilhelmine Germany 1900–1914." Journal of the History of Collections 21 (2009), p. 226.
Ursula Bode. "Von kunstfreundlichen Bürgern: Sammler in Essen 1900–1945." "Das schönste Museum der Welt," Museum Folkwang bis 1933: Essays zur Geschichte des Museum Folkwang. Göttingen, 2010, pp. 154–55, discusses the history of the painting during the second world war.
Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. Van Gogh: The Life. New York, 2011, p. 819.
Kunstsalon Cassirer. Ed. Bernhard Echte and Walter Feilchenfeldt. Wädenswil, Zürich, 2011–16, vol. 3, pp. 696, 700, 704, 712, 713, 785, ill. (color), reproduce two letters from Paul Cassirer to Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, dated March 10 and 24, 1908, about the purchase of this painting and two others (The Met 58.187 and F814); republish Behnisch-Kappstein 1908, Plehn 1908, and Weidner 1908.
Martin Bailey. The Sunflowers Are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh's Masterpiece. London, 2013, pp. 160, 199, 222 n. 9, fig. 72 (color, Manson self-portrait), discusses former Tate Gallery director James Manson's self-portrait of 1937 (Southampton City Art Gallery), which includes this picture in the background, and notes that Manson also included it in a still life of sunflowers of 1939 (present whereabouts unknown).
Walter Feilchenfeldt. Vincent van Gogh: The Years in France. Complete Paintings 1886–1890. London, 2013, pp. 26, 32 n. 45, pp. 187, 300, 312, 315, 317, 321, 343, 347, ill. (color) [1st German ed., 2009], calls it "Roses" and "Roses in a Green Pot".
Julian Bell. Van Gogh: A Power Seething. Boston, 2015, p. 138.
Wilhelm Uhde inVan Gogh. London, 2015, p. 28 [same text as Uhde and Goldscheider 1941 and 1951].
Griselda Pollock inVan Gogh. London, 2015, p. 37, notes the original pink color of the roses, referring to this work and/or the Washington picture.
Edwin Mullins. Van Gogh: The Asylum Year. London, 2015, pp. 179, 181, 184.
Stefan Koldehoff. Ich und van Gogh: Bilder, Sammler und ihre abenteuerlichen Geschichten. Berlin, 2015, p. 141, ill. pp. 138 (photograph of it hanging on wall in Annenberg home), 139 (color).
Silvia A. Centeno et al. "Van Gogh's 'Irises' and 'Roses': the Contribution of Chemical Analyses and Imaging to the Assessment of Color Changes in the Red Lake Pigments." Heritage Science 5 (May 10, 2017) [https://heritagesciencejournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40494-017-0131-8], discuss in detail the fading of red lake pigments in the painting based on the results of non-invasive techniques of scientific examination, in-depth microchemical analysis, color measurements, and digital color simulations.
Monique Hageman and Nora Koldehoff inThe Thannhauser Gallery: Marketing Van Gogh. Ed. Stefan Koldehoff and Chris Stolwijk. Brussels, 2017, p. 101 n. 1.
Stefan Koldehoff inThe Thannhauser Gallery: Marketing Van Gogh. Ed. Stefan Koldehoff and Chris Stolwijk. Brussels, 2017, p. 62.
Martin Bailey. Starry Night: Van Gogh at the Asylum. London, 2018, p. 208 n. 12.
Stefan Koldehoff inMaking Van Gogh: A German Love Story. Ed. Alexander Eiling and Felix Krämer. Exh. cat., Städel Museum. Frankfurt, 2019, p. 218.
Christine Brennan and Yelena Rakic. "Fragmented Histories." Making The Met, 1870–2020. Ed. Andrea Bayer with Laura D. Corey. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2020, p. 269 n. 38.
Hans Luijten. Jo van Gogh-Bonger: The Woman Who Made Vincent Famous. London, 2023, p. 244, as "Roses in a Vase"; discusses the transaction between Jo van Gogh-Bonger and Cassirer.
The Roses exhibited at the "Salon des Indépendants (7me exposition)” in Paris, March 20–April 27, 1891 (as no. 1200) was presumably the horizontal Roses now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (F681), given that the painting was purchased shortly thereafter, in June 1891, by the French collector and bibliophile Paul Gallimard, Paris.
A copy of the catalogue for Amsterdam 1905 owned by critic Albert Plasschaert and now in the Van Gogh Museum is annotated "witte rozen tegen licht geel groen fond, vaas donker groen / vorm v[an]. vaas / onbehouwen" (white roses against a light yellow-green background, vase dark green / shape of vase / crude).
Apropos of Paris 1907, Félix Fénéon, the director of exhibitions for Bernheim-Jeune, wrote to Johanna van Gogh-Bonger on October 30, 1907, expressing interest in this work and The Met 58.187 and adding that they would appear in the gallery’s November exhibition of still lifes. He wrote again on November 1, 1907, noting the arrival of the pictures and their asking price of 5,000 francs each (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. nrs. b5756 V/1996 and b5757 V/1996).
This picture was photographed by Eugène Druet (pl. 68, no. 40/50–7218, ca. 1900–1910, collection Le fonds Druet-Vizzavona, Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Fort de Saint-Cyr, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France), probably during Paris 1908. A letter from Fénéon to Johanna van Gogh-Bonger on February 11, 1908, confirms that Druet photographed all the works in the exhibition (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. nr. b5763 V/1996).
In 1939 Roses and other works of art were seized at the request of Nazi officials from Georg Hirschland’s home in Essen and removed to the city’s Folkwang Museum. The museum association (Museumsverein) and the municipality of Essen had twenty-seven artworks from the Hirschland collection appraised and jointly purchased them for 350,000 marks, which was a portion of their market value, of which the collector received the equivalent of $7,000. In 1941 Roses was transferred to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin (see Bode 2010). The painting returned to the Folkwang Museum in 1942 and remained there until near the end of the Second World War, when it was evacuated to a mine in Siegen. It was subsequently recovered and transferred to the Allied Central Collecting Points in Marburg (June 1945), Wiesbaden (August 1946), and the British Zone (October 1948). In July 1950 Roses was one of nineteen works restituted to Georg Hirschland’s heirs in New York.
This work may not be lent, by terms of its acquisition by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
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.