Although Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings are very similar in many aspects, each stands out as its own unique work of art. Van Gogh began painting sunflowers after he left Holland for France in pursuit of creating an artistic community.
The colors are vibrant and express emotions typically associated with the life of sunflowers: bright yellows of the full bloom to arid browns of wilting and death; all of the stages woven through these polar opposites are presented. Perhaps this very technique is what draws one into the painting; the fulfillment of seeing all angles of the spectrum of life and in turn reaching a deeper understanding of how all living things are tied together.
Note: The center “eye” of the flower contains different colors. In the first example the center is filled with a greenish yellow, while in the second piece the center is filled with black.