Sunflowers are flowers in which Van Gogh found a consonance with his own soul. In his life, he wrote a lot of them and with pleasure, and his best times are marked by paintings with sunflowers – bright, lively, filled with strength and joy.
At that time, he lived in Arles, in a small yellow house, bleached from the inside, and dreamed of creating a community of artists, a creative workshop in which, in an atmosphere of acceptance and inspiration, everyone could create what they wanted.
The first to respond to his idea was his friend Paul Gauguin, and, anticipating his arrival, Van Gogh decided to decorate everything with sunflowers. At that time they were in all his paintings. Bright yellow flowers, strong and big, aspiring after the sun and falling asleep without it.
However, that period of happiness ended quickly. Van Gogh suffered a first episode of insanity, he was locked up in a psychiatric clinic, and, after leaving there, he was devastated, miserable and very poor. There was nothing to pay for the yellow house, the sunflowers no longer pleased the artist, and “Four wilted sunflowers” were written at that time. They are already starting to dry out.
Painfully broken stems lie in a heap, petals cringe, flowers helplessly looking in different directions, no longer looking at the sun. This picture shows the ephemeral nature of life. How easy it is to break a stalk of a sunflower, so it is easy to break a human destiny.
However, sunflowers are ripe, which means there is still hope. The seeds enclosed in them can be planted and become beautiful flowers. Nature will take its toll, old sunflowers will be reborn in new ones, and they will again be bright, yellow and joyful, will turn towards the sun.
Waiting for this shining future in the picture is not obvious, but it is. As if encouraging himself, Van Gogh depicts flowers that seem to be defeated, but may soon bloom again. Life is ephemeral, but it has no end.
And there is always hope.