Vincent van Gogh - Vase with Zinnias and Other Flowers 1886

Vase with Zinnias and Other Flowers 1886
Vase with Zinnias and Other Flowers
Oil on canvas 50.2 x 61.0 cm. Paris: Summer, 1886
Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada

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From National Gallery of Canada:
After working as an art dealer, schoolteacher, and missionary, Van Gogh decided to become an artist in 1880 and spent several years painting and sketching in the Netherlands. Intrigued by the Impressionists, he moved to Paris in March 1886 and lived with his brother Theo, an art dealer. "Still-life: Flowers (II)" is among a group of still-lifes painted that summer in which Van Gogh shed the darker palette of his Dutch period and explored colour theories then current among the Parisian avant-garde. In July 1886, Theo wrote to their mother that Vincent was "mainly painting flowers - with the object to put a more lively color into his next pictures . . . . He has acquaintances who give him a collection of flowers every week which serve him as models."

The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

To Anthon van Rappard. The Hague, on or about Tuesday, 13 February 1883.
My dear friend Rappard,
Yesterday I collected together a few things I’ve acquired in duplicate since I last sent duplicates to you.
This is entirely separate, however, from The Graphic, which I’m leaving in the condition I got it in for the time being — though when I have time and a plan I’m seriously considering mounting the prints.
I think you’ll find the Régamey Convicts outdoor work very fine.
I’m sorry I haven’t any duplicates of the other convicts prints by him, which show a walk and a midday meal. Done with astonishing austerity, with almost more character than this print.
The Hopkins, Boat race and weather recalls Percy Macquoid, say, I think.
What character it has, and what a distinctive daylight tone.
Do you know by whom The first warm day might be? Isn’t it beautiful?
The small Jules Ferats, Prisons of the past and today, go well with the small Renouards of Mazas.
If there are some among them that you already have, return them at your convenience, there’s no hurry, of course.
Now I also have a large Heilbuth in duplicate, By the water’s edge, the figure of a lady, she’s sitting on part of a tree-trunk and you’ll be able to verify whether you already have this sheet from this detail and the title. I didn’t send it because I was almost certain you had it — but I’m not sure and it’s very beautiful, so have a look to check. That print by Dadd goes well with the Green, signboard painter. Poor Irish scholar is again by that MF who made the Merthyr Tydvil Pawn Office. Small as that print may be, it’s strikingly beautiful, isn’t it?
I don’t know by whom the two small Irish sketches, Arch’s cottage and Labourer’s home, are, but I think that the latter in particular is outstanding. Well, this is just a mixed bunch.
Good Friday is by Barnes, I believe. I’ve just remembered that for some time I’ve been keeping a fine portrait of Corot for you; I’ll put it in with the others right away. Whenever I have time I browse through The Graphics — there are treasures in them!
I’m writing in haste, and collected these together while clearing up the studio. I hope there’ll be something you like. Adieu, with a handshake.
Ever yours,