OIL PAINTING: Irises, 1890
The irises are perhaps the first subject Vincent van Gogh did in the asylum. It preceded his first attack there and at first glance shows no evident trace of that moodiness and high tension which appear in many of Van gogh later paintings. Vincent van Gogh paints the Irises with admiration and joy.
Most original is the drawing of the irises. Unlike the Impressionist flower pieces in which the plants are formless spots of colour, these are carefully studied for their shapes and individualized, with the same sincerity and precision as van Gogh's portraits; he discovers an endless variety of curved silhouettes, a new source of movement, in what might easily have become a static ornamental repetition of the same motif. These wavy, flaming twisted, and curling lines, broken and pointed, anticipate the later works done at Saint-Remy.