Vase with Chinese Asters and Gladioli
Paris, August-September 1886
61.1 cm x 46.1 cm
Van Gogh had always used generous amounts of paint. But after discovering the flower still lifes of Adolphe Monticelli (1824-1886) in June 1886, he went one step further. That French artist painted colourful bouquets with thick paint and emphatic brushstrokes. Van Gogh compared them to liquid clay. In still lifes such as Vase with Chinese Asters and Gladioli, you can see how thickly he began applying the paint to the canvas in his own flowers.
The vase shown here has been preserved and is now in the Van Gogh Museum collection. It is smaller in reality than in the painting. The large bouquet of flowers shown here would never fit inside it.