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2019 vincent irises 40x30.jpg


As many impressionists, Van Gogh revered Japanese artists, declaring Hokusai “admirable and he had a large collection of prints. He was inspired by them and copied their work, explaining “ why it seems good to me to copy them(…): We painters are always asked to compose ourselves and to be nothing but composers. but in music (…) a composer’s interpretation is something, and it isn’t a hard and fast rule that only the composer plays his own compositions.(…)

So then my brush goes between my fingers as if it were a bow on the violin and absolutely for my pleasure.”


The Irises were exhibited in 1889 at the fifth exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, held in Paris from 3 September to 4 October 1889. Theo described the exhibition saying that the painting “looks extremely well. (…) it strikes you from a long way off. It’s a fine study, full of air and life.” 


In his review of the exhibition for La Vogue (September 1889), the art critic Felix Fénéon wrote: “His Irises violently shred their purple parts over their lath-like leaves. Mr van Gogh is a diverting colorist even in eccentricities like his Starry Night”



Van Gogh: lust for life, Irving Stone

Vincent and Hokusai, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

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