We’ve been rather preoccupied with knitted sunflowers recently….
A new exhibition opens in London on Saturday 25th January; for the first time in 65 years two of the 5 surviving paintings of Vincent Van Gogh’s Arles Sunflower series will be shown together in The National Gallery. One is owned by The National Gallery, the other is on loan from the Amsterdam Van Gogh museum.
These paintings are some of the most iconic images of our time. They were painted 125 years ago and their enigmatic golden aura has coloured and shaped art history ever since.
The Sunflowers were painted in the brilliant sunshine of Arles in the south of France as Van Gogh waited optimistically for the arrival of his friend and mentor Paul Gauguin.
Not simply studies in the beauty and radiance of the blooms, these paintings recorded their natural states of decay; a working observation of the cycle of life. They cheerfully sing about the joy of life but they are also a collective memento mori – and history shows us how these images foretold the death of a friendship closely followed by the artists own premature, and tragic, death
Van Gogh’s mythology is told and retold countless times; the madness, the genius, the paranoia, the single sale of one painting, the memorabilia, the souvenirs, the parodies, and the price tag of £100 million that each sunflower painting is now estimated to be worth. This is a story that has no morals. There is no meaning or conclusion to be made. There are only paintings; beautiful paintings – and a whole a set of questions about the ‘value’ of art and the relationship between genius and insanity.
The National Gallery’s exhibition of these two paintings will also present recent research into the pieces, uncovering new insights into how the works were made, and the gallery shop will be blooming with sunflower merchandise of all descriptions.
We were thrilled to have been asked to provide some sunflower knitting kits, and ready-mades for this collection and are delighted to announce that these products are now available to buy in The National Gallery shop!
The Sunflowers exhibition runs from January 25th to April 27th and you can find out all about it here.
We are offering subscribers to The Mercerie Post a fabulous 15% off this product in Issue 11. If you’d like to knit your own beautiful bunch of sunflowers you can subscribe here to take advantage of this offer.
Product ‘lifestyle’ shots are by Elizaboo Photography.
This post is a link in a circle of blogs called Sisterhood Stories. Please visit the next post by Laura and leave some love on the way 🙂