Vase With Red Poppies
The Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh painted Vase with Red Poppies while living in Paris, in the year of 1886. He produced seven other paintings of this same flower until 1890, having developed a great love for this theme, including Vase with Poppies, Cornflowers, Peonies and Chrysanthemum and the landscape, Field with Poppies.
Because of the possibilities of color use and contrast, Van Gogh paints many different kinds of flowers, buying them randomly and receiving them as a gift from family and friends. He saw the joy in life through flowers, expressing this in letters to his sister as he advised her to grow her garden, so to experience this in her own life. During this period, the artist produced about thirty paintings of a variety of flowers, with?Vase with Twelve Sunflowers being the most famous.
He speaks of his love for Japanese prints through letters to his brother Leo, and how looking at them inspires him to work and handle flowers even more. This obsession with Japanese art, especially wood-cut prints inspire many Post-Impressionists to work with vibrant colors and unusual composition. Even though this is not quite the case of Vase with Red Poppies, this painting already shows how the artist is beginning to work on this path.
Using complementary colors, Vincent van Gogh created a unity between the figure and the background. He paints a light blue vase with green details and bright red poppy flowers in it. The red is complementary to the blue background, in which the artist gave depth by using black. He loosely and freely paints this still-life in a decorative way, using thick layers of paint, giving an idea to what direction he wanted to go with these paintings and rapidly being able to achieve his aesthetic goals, like in his later work Irises.
In Vase with Red Poppies, van Gogh does not yet work with bold dark contours in his figures, as he only paints what he sees the light and shadow of this natural scene, but still in a Post-impressionist way.