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Knitted Sunflowers at The National Gallery

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.

knitted sunflowers

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 🙂

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. What a pretty post and congratulations on such a prestigious retail outlet for your beautiful designs! I’m sure they’ll be a best seller x

  2. Wow, those knitted sunflowers are fabulous. You’re inspiring me to learn to knit! Sunflowers lift spirits in such a magnificent way, I can see why Van Gogh wanted to paint them. My husband is coming to London next month, I’ll tell him to add The National Gallery to his agenda. Thank you for your beautiful post!

    1. Thank you Abby 🙂 I certainly wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity to see the paintings together. (and tell him to make a detour to the shop too!)

  3. Congratulations on your partnership with the gallery shop! I can see these kits doing really well. I’ve always loved Van Gogh’s work, yes, so full of life and beauty.

  4. congratulations Sue, a real coup to be sought out by the Gallery and what a fabulous tie in with an extraordinary exhibition. I feel quite emotional about the whole thing, I worked at the Gallery for 10 years and was there when the Sainsbury Wing and new shop opened. At that time the trading arm were looking at expanding the range into very high quality merchandise based on the collection. They were pioneers in the field and many galleries and museums were advised by the NG team I know that your product will sit perfectly within the ethos of the gallery. I also am delighted that they have been able to get the two Van Gogh;s together, a must see this year. Your sunflowers will be a fantastic souvenir for anyone visiting the show – just beautiful and so exciting. Also big congratulations to Boo for her gorgeous photography x

    1. Thank you Jill – yes, I really am very excited about it all, and can’t wait to visit the exhibition to see the two paintings together. And of course I’ll nip into the shop too to see what else they’ve sourced for souvenirs. The photos are beautiful aren’t they? xx

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