If you love life and nature, you will find beauty
everywhere in Van Gogh SENSES Gifts, an urban haven in Central which is more
than a souvenir shop, as it has brought the fine art of the greatest Dutch
painter and the cultural heritage of Tai Kwun to life.
Vincent van Gogh once wrote: ‘The way to know life is
to love many things’. In the Van Gogh SENSES Gifts, housed inside the Centre
for Heritage and Arts at Tai Kwun with its former life as the Central Police
Station, you would find Van Goghian motifs which speak for themselves about the
painter’s love and passion for life, nature and beauty. You can also have a
bite of our confectionery delicacies and a sip of the teas or coffees inspired
by the great masterpieces showcasing the artist’s profound creativity.
Of course, you can also share your love for art as well
as Van Gogh’s vision for a more peaceful and beautiful world with your family,
friends and loved ones. Our shop has a wide range of one-of-a-kind gifting
ideas that will surely surprise and inspire veteran and budding art lovers so
that they can learn more about Van Gogh.
Vincent believes great things can be achieved by a
series of small things brought together. Like the amazing architectural
heritage of Tai Kwun and the timelessness of the painter’s masterpieces, our
little something can spread love, care and thoughtfulness as well as the
artistic master’s uplifting spirit. Now let’s spread the message of love and
beauty far and wide!
This is one of
more than 35 flower still lifes that Van Gogh painted in Paris in the summer of
1886. He hoped that paintings of flowers would sell well. These were also
exercises in the use of colour and a loose style of painting.
In this still
life, he worked with strong colour contrasts in complementary colours, placing
green and red side by side, or blue and orange. Pairs like these form the basis
of the colour theory of Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), an artist Van Gogh
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.
painted this still life in the psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy. For him, the
painting was mainly a study in colour. He set out to achieve a powerful colour
contrast. By placing the purple flowers against a yellow background, he made
the decorative forms stand out even more strongly. The irises were originally
purple. But as the red pigment has faded, they have turned blue. Van Gogh made
two paintings of this bouquet. In the other still life, he contrasted purple
and pink with green.
When Van Gogh
made this painting he started with the flowers and butterflies and filled in
the blue background only afterwards. This is clear from the fact that the broad
strokes of blue paint occasionally cover the green stems of the flowers. Van
Gogh even left part of the canvas unpainted, with the bare cloth visible.
shades of green, he gave depth to the tangle of stems, leaves and petals. Van
Gogh skillfully captured the spirit of the delicate poppies. Some of the buds
are about to burst open.
branches like this against a blue sky were one of Van Gogh’s favourite
subjects. Almond trees flower early in the spring making them a symbol of new
life. Van Gogh borrowed the subject, the bold outlines and the positioning of
the tree in the picture plane from Japanese printmaking.
was a gift for his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo, who just had a baby son,
still life is not unfinished, even if it looks that way. Van Gogh painted it
with loose and clearly rapid brushstrokes, as he was increasingly doing since
he went to live in Auvers. He made the flowers only just recognisable and
surrounded them with fairly rough blue outlines.
He painted the
bunch of flowers in the home of his doctor, Paul-Ferdinand Gachet (1828-1909),
whom he described as ‘a ready-made friend and something like a new brother’. We
even know that he painted it at Gachet’s red table, on which the vase is
standing in the picture.
Van Gogh’s paintings of
Sunflowers are among his most famous. He did them in Arles, in the south of
France, in 1888 and 1889. Vincent painted a total of five large canvases with
sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’. In this way,
he demonstrated that it was possible to create an image with numerous
variations of a single colour, without any loss of eloquence.
The sunflower paintings had a
special significance for Van Gogh: they communicated ‘gratitude’, he wrote. He
hung the first two in the room of his friend, the painter Paul Gauguin, who
came to live with him for a while in the Yellow House. Gauguin was impressed by
the sunflowers, which he thought were ‘completely Vincent’.
Van Gogh was a
lifelong admirer of the work of Charles-François Daubigny. This celebrated
landscape painter had lived in Auvers. So when Vincent arrived in the village,
he went to see Daubigny's home and garden as soon as he could. This is Van
Gogh's first painting of the garden. He later made two larger ones on canvas.