#SunflowersLIVE No. 5 Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum

#SunflowersLIVE No. 5 Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum


Thank you for visiting Seiji Togo Memorial
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art. My name is Shôko Kobayashi,
chief curator of this museum. First of all,
I would like to thank all my colleagues. The National Gallery in London,
Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam… The Philadelphia Museum of Art
and the museum Pinakothek in Munich. This is our Sunflowers
by Vincent van Gogh. Vincent painted this sunflower vase
in 1888 when he was staying in Arles… the southern part of France. This painting was based on another
Sunflowers, which is now in London. The National Gallery in London. Because it might be painted in autumn,
around the end of November… to the beginning of December.
So the sunflower season was gone. Besides, Vincent was a painter who
needed a real model to paint from. So he copied his own painting that
was painted in the summer in 1888. So, our Sunflowers
has a yellow background. The same as the London version.
And almost the same composition. The arrangement of flowers, leaves,
petals, vase and so on. However, when we compare the painting
with the London version… we could find some differences. For example,
the colour of the yellow background. This background is slightly different.
It is a little bit greenish. The tone is soft and the contrast between
background and flowers is not strong… compared to the London version
and also the Amsterdam version. Besides, in this version thick matière
and strong brush strokes… cover the surface of the entire painting. In the London version
there are some parts… in which the pigment was painted flat. Especially the bottom part. In his letter to his brother Theo… Vincent mentioned he was starting
with colour and brush work. He tried to paint by colour
or clair sur clair. It means, using only clear colour
to make his painting bright. And he also tried to paint
by using a variation of brushworks. So we could say that this painting
is not just a copy… but it’s one of a process
of his artistic exploration. Now, next to our Sunflowers… you can see L’Allée des Alyscamps, Arles
by Paul Gauguin. This is part of our collection, too. Just before Gauguin painted this work… it was just after he arrived at Arles,
at the end of October 1888… Gauguin bought 20 metres
of very rough jute for making canvasses. Vincent and Gauguin
were sharing this jute. Ten metres for Gauguin
and ten metres for Vincent. Using this jute,
Gauguin painted this painting… L’Allée des Alyscamps,
and Vincent painted that Sunflowers. This is to say that the two paintings
were painted on the same jute canvas… by two artists
when they lived together in Arles. Our Sunflowers came to our museum… through an auction of Christie’s
in March 1987 in London. It was a commemoration for the
100-year anniversary of the company… Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc… which was established in 1888. It means that the company
was born the same year… when Vincent painted
the Sunflowers series. When Vincent was alive,
he admired Japanese art… for example ukiyo-e painting
and he had the desire to visit Japan. So it might be much appreciated
that his Sunflowers is in Tokyo, Japan… as part of our permanent collection.
Thank you for listening.

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