In May of 1889, Vincent van Gogh admitted himself into an asylum in Saint-Rémy, France. During the first month of his stay, van Gogh began painting Irises inspired by his daily walks, creating a composition defined by large swaths of blue flowers, orange marigolds, green leaves and red soil. Upon completion, he shipped the painting to his brother Theo, who was so taken by the work that he submitted it for exhibition at the 1889 Salon des Independents in Paris. Theo wrote to Vincent: “…it strikes the eye from afar. It is a beautiful study full of air and life.”
Irises, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), 1889. Oil on canvas. J. Paul Getty Museum
Vincent's joyful brushwork and rich color transports you to a French garden to admire a bevy of Irises in full bloom. Our artistic vase and luminaries reproduce a vivid detail from one of his most celebrated works.