Butterflies and Poppies, 1890
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Between them, Vincent and Theo had a considerable collection of Japanese prints, and the influences of Japanese art are clearly visible in this decorative floral piece. The close-up of the flowers and insects is typically Japanese, as are the asymmetric composition and the lack of depth.
Amidst a confusion of green foliage, Van Gogh created butterflies with a few dabs of paint – a counterpoint to the two flowers at the top of the painting. The vegetative profusion at lower right contrasts with the emptiness at left, where whole areas of canvas remain unpainted.