Monday, December 3, 2012

The Van Gogh Series :: Bearded Iris

Iris is a very popular flower at my house, particularly any that are in the purple hue. They are my husband's favorites and he's got them planted all over the yard. Our favorite is the bearded variety as they are just so lush in the way their petals cascade. 

It is no wonder that it was a favorite subject for Van Gogh to paint. His Iris paintings are some of his best known and most recognized pieces. But what I find interesting is when in his life he started to paint these gorgeous flowers. In 1889 he committed himself to the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint Remy, France after many hospitalizations and self-mutilation. 

It was during his stay here that he painted some 130 paintings with the surrounding gardens at the clinic. He started work on his Irises within the first week of his stay at the asylum. He also painted Starry Night during his stay here, but I'll save that one for another post in this series.

His Irises painting is on the list for one of the most expensive paintings ever sold, selling for 54 million dollars in 1987. Currently Irises is on display at The Getty Center in Los Angeles, CA.

To understand a little bit more about what was going on with Vincent during this period, you can read some of his letters. He mentions that he's had epileptic seizures and that it was one of these episodes where he's injured his ear. There seems to be many stories about how he ended up with a bandaged ear! He had several primary subjects during his stay, but the flowers in the landscape seem to capture him. He writes "the landscape of St-Remy is very beautiful." and that he has "two subjects taken from the garden - violet irises and a lilac bush."   
I took inspiration for these earrings from the gradation of purple hue in an iris, and the cascading petals from the bearded variety. They are a diamond cut amethyst that stacks in a cascade as you layer them together. I like the effect of these, but also wanted them to have that long hang to them like the long stocks of the flower. This pair you'll find posted in my Etsy shop! Also for a little fun, my friend Gloria over at New End Studios has allowed me to guest post on her blog, and I've got a Sunflower inspired Van Gogh pair there and also listed in my Etsy shop. I'm working my way through that bowl of single earrings! 

13 comments:

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Van Gogh is a very interesting artist! I love his work and have read quite a lot about him, and have seen some of his originals during a trip to Holland. What beautiful talent!
Your earrings are lovely!

Nancy said...

Beautiful! And great inspiration!

Duni said...

Van Gogh really was a fascinating artist! My theory is he suffered from tinnitus.
The diamond cut amethysts are beautiful!

Mama Zen said...

I love that color!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Wow, I didn't know all that about Van Gogh. That is really interesting. And those are gorgeous earrings!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Enjoyed your interesting post about your inspiration for these lovely earrings.

Anna said...

Your earrings are lovely in their combination of shapes and color! I'm partial to purple :)
Van Gogh's iris painting on the right is one of my favorite pieces from his works. I've had a postcard repro of that piece in my studio for years.
Hope your week is wonderfully creative!

New End Studio said...

I grew up with irises and lilacs throughout our yard and this post was a little bit of happy remembering ♥ Your earrings are beautiful and the history and images are scrumptious!

Thanks for Guest Posting and sharing my link ♥

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

What a great way to find inspiration! Love your earrings!

Christine Altmiller said...

With gems this pretty, not a lot of embellishment is needed. These are beautiful! And I love your iris and Vincent inspirations :-)

Magic Love Crow said...

Great inspiration for your earrings! I loved reading about Van Gogh and the irises!

Marcela Gmd said...

Great inspiration! lovely color!!!
Have a nice day, dear!
Besos, Marcela♥

Miss Val's Creations said...

Van Gogh's work was so beautiful. A few years back I saw a film in Boston about Van Gogh that focused on his relationship with his brother and the letters written between them. It was so sad but so interesting. My favorite of his is Cafe Terrace at Night! Your iris inspired earrings are so pretty!!! The bearded ones are my favorite too and I love seeing them bloom in my yard each spring. :)

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