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Vincent van Gogh | Vase with Gladioli and Chinese Asters, 1886

This is one of more than 35 flower still lifes that Van Gogh painted in Paris in the summer of 1886. He hoped that paintings of flowers would sell well. These were also exercises in the use of colour and a loose style of painting.
In this still life, he worked with strong colour contrasts in complementary colours, placing green and red side by side, or blue and orange. Pairs like these form the basis of the colour theory of Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), an artist Van Gogh greatly admired. | Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam