Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Nuenen, Autumn-Winter 1884
oil on canvas,
42.7 cm x 31.7 cm x 2.0 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
In the autumn of 1884, Van Gogh began work on this seasonal bouquet of honesty, with 'dry leaves against blue'.
The name 'honesty' may refer to the translucence of the round seed pods, which turn a silvery-white colour in the autumn. They then resemble silver coins, and in Dutch this plant is called the judaspenning, 'coin of Judas'. This is a reference to the apostle Judas, who betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver. He is said to have thrown the coins to the ground when he hanged himself. Where they landed, the honesty plant later grew. This is one of the first still lifes painted by Van Gogh.