Sunflowers has been temporarily removed from display for technical examination of discolouration

13 april 2012

Van Gogh painted Sunflowers in Arles before the painter Paul Gauguin came to live with him. He produced several still lifes of sunflowers to decorate Gauguin’s room: ‘flower-pieces with nothing but Sunflowers in a yellow earthenware pot. Painted with the three chrome yellows, yellow ochre and Veronese green and nothing else.’

The conservator is now investigating what has caused the colour changes in the chrome yellow used by Van Gogh, and whether it is possible to remove the discoloured layer of varnish safely. In addition, a special scanning technique will allow us to study the sketch beneath the paint.

This type of research generates new insights into Van Gogh’s working methods and materials, and helps us to find the best way of preserving paintings for the future.

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