Two versions of Vincent Van Gogh’s venerable ‘Sunflowers’ have been reunited for the first time in 65 years at the National Gallery in London. One painting is in the National Gallery’s collection and the other canvas is on loan from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The works are being exhibited side-by-side along with the results of scientific research into the two paintings carried out by both institutions. The findings allow viewers to better grasp the paintings’ relationship to each other by shedding light on Van Gogh’s artistic process and the materials he used to paint ‘Sunflowers.’
The two paintings on view are among the five versions of ‘Sunflowers’ that are spread around the world (the other three reside in Tokyo, Munich and Philadelphia). Van Gogh started the series in 1888 after he left Paris for Arles in the South of France. Van Gogh had invited his friend Paul Gauguin to join him in Arles and he painted ‘Sunflowers’ as a welcoming present for the artist. Van Gogh and Gauguin worked together throughout the fall of 1888 until Van Gogh’s mental state began to deteriorate.
‘Sunflowers’ will be on view at the National Gallery through April 27, 2014. Admission is free.