Van Gogh paints at least thirty floral still lifes in the summer of 1887. The genre is ideally suited to experimenting with colour and intense colour contrasts. Flowers in a blue vase shows his progress. Light and colour are dominant in this exuberant still life. Van Gogh enhances the colour contrasts and uses a wide range of brushstrokes.

Colour contrasts

On a table top, painted in bold yellowish green brushstrokes, the shining light blue vase contains white daisies, yellow sunflowers, blue lilacs, bright red anemones and dark red lilies(?). The vase and flowers stand out against a blue pointillist background that transitions into a combination of grey and purple towards the bottom.


The composition is simple and traditional. But the beautiful colours of the bouquet and the variety of brushstrokes attest to an increasing technical ability and self-confidence. Van Gogh has integrated the principles of impressionism and neo-impressionism into a unique, unaffected combination of impressionistic light and a pointillist touch.