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Vase with Oleanders and Books

by Vincent Van Gogh

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Vase with Oleanders and Books - Description

The still-life painting format had largely fallen out of style by the time Vincent van Gogh began painting seriously. His work would revive the format. This painting, Vase with Oleanders and Books, shows beautiful, soft pink and red flowers executed with heavy, circling paint. The soft petals contrast nicely with the spiky green leaves of the plant. On the edge of the table sits a copy of Emile Zola's La Joie de Vivre (The Joy of Living), resting on top of another book. This painting, Vase with Oleanders and Books is often praised for its basic composition. The pink in the flowers reappears on the edge of the table. The bright purple in the handle of the jug reappears in the leaves of the plant. The red in the petals appears as a bright stripe on the edge of the table. The pattern of the plants reappears in the center of the jug. The books are also set at a slightly off-key angle -- an idea that would surface for later Cubist paintings. Thematically, this painting also holds much interest. The title of the book (Joy of Living) contrasts with the oleander, which is one of the most toxic of garden plants. Ingesting just a small amount can be lethal. The soft petals surrounded by spiky leaves also suggests at the artist's inner struggle with depression: keeping one's mind safe in a threatening world can be a dangerous proposition.

Painting Details

Artwork Name: Vase with Oleanders and Books

Original Artist: Salvador Dali
Subject: Florals
Style: Post-Impressionism
Medium: 100% Hand-painted on Canvas
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