Commitment to Sunflowers

By Yasmin Ayture

In Commitment to Sunflowers, we explore Artist Vincent Van Gogh, who lived between 1853-1890, was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who after his death became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. He created over 2,100 artworks but most of all, Van Gogh wanted to be known as a painter of flowers. What’s more, unlike other painters at the time when he painted flowers, created as still life images rather than within a countryside setting. After experimenting with painting a few flowers, he decided that it was the sunflower that would be his focus. Now, Floral Street are the first-ever fragrance partner permitted to associate with the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, harmonising Van Gogh’s sunflower art with the pronounced and pleasant smell of the blooming flower as fine art meets fragrance.

Images Alexander Baxter

Sunflowers is the name of two series of still life paintings by Vincent, with the first series in 1887 depicting the sunflowers laying on the ground, while the second series, shows a bouquet of sunflowers inside a vase. Five canvases were painted with only three shades of yellow, showing the limitlessness of what it is possible to create with just one colour on the brush.

Vincent made his first still life painting of sunflowers when in Paris, impressing another painter Paul Gauguin quickly with what he was able to capture with his careful use of colour. Vibrant and radiant: painting with numerous variations of a single colour, bringing out the hues and shades altogether, no eloquence was lost at all in the transfer of the real-life sunflowers into the painting.

The sunflowers were intended by Vincent to symbolise gratitude, communicating this special, important and sometimes difficult to obtain ‘state of being’ for so many people, through the communicative stances and stature of the petals and stems of his flowers.

Bright and deep yellow, bold in stature and length of the stem, and an eternal captivation of summer. Yet the tall and distinguished sunflower is typically not celebrated or adored as much would be expected. Is it the artist’s job to draw our attention to the overlooked or just to follow their own intuitive captivation?

He gave Sunflowers the leading role, showing a commitment to sunflowers, not giving up, relinquished, charmed and devoted. Even if other artists at the time considered these flowers to be course and unrefined, that was exactly what Vincent liked about them. Is it the infamous plight of the imperfect entity that is, after all, the most beautiful? Perhaps the intense commitment was from Sunflowers’ ability to master subtlety and enchantment at exactly the same time; not glaring but filling a room with sunshine.

The sunflower is not famed for its smell but its colour, for the scent of its blossoms is not stereotypically floral: another distinguishing element of the sunflower rendering it on a path of its own. To not be exquisitely sweet is not to its detriment, it is its glory because these components are what completes its holistic being. The painting, verging on 3D as the petals drape, rest, perch, blossom and bloom in a living haze from the bold and steady vase from Van Gogh’s brush.

Completing the rounded experience of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the unique and one-of-a-kind collaboration launching this month between The Van Gogh Museum and Floral Street are aiming to inspire diverse audiences with the new fragrance Sunflower Pop. To bring the paintings to life is to strive on the mission of beauty and optimism that infiltrates Van Gogh’s masterworks.

The golden hues of the heartstrings committed to sunflowers, the bottle is truly memorable and striking. Whilst the sunflower itself as mentioned does not exude strong floral notes, this scent draws out its inner depths with Magnolia, Lily of the Valley, Peony, Sandalwood and Amber for the attuned, perfect and truly reflective dive into the sunflower’s floral depths. Finally, Van Gogh’s paintings can fulfil the senses, bringing smell to the visual dance of exploration like a real flower in the room.

The Van Gogh Exhibition: Immersive Experience, London, indeed encapsulated this vision with cutting-edge technology to take you by the hand inside Van Gogh’s paintings, into his world, so that with every step and glance you take, more of the painting reveals itself. The Immersive Experience is open now for bookings and experiences, with 360-degree projections that allow you to appreciate Van Gogh’s work like never before, celebrating the painter who in turn celebrated the beauty of what was before him.

Total artistic immersion marks the initial commitment to sunflowers and the transcendence of art into a scent; intense absorption and enthrallment is also the thread that connects with the Van Gogh Immersive Experience, for both signify dedication. In 20,000 square foot light and sound, the barrier of time is being taken down so that Van Gogh’s vibrant artworks live and breathe with the virtual reality features.

If you have enjoyed reading Commitment to Sunflowers, why not read Empty in Angel.

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