Bouquet of Sunflowers
Bouquet of Sunflowers, 1881
Oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York)—April 1, 2012
The sunflowers harvested for this lush bouquet grew flanking the steps that led down to Monet's garden at Vétheuil. He exhibited this painting in 1882 at the seventh Impressionist exhibition, where the "brio and daring" of his technique elicited the critics' admiration.
Vincent van Gogh probably saw Monet's "Sunflowers" in Paul Durand-Ruel's gallery when he arrived in Paris in early 1886. In a letter to his brother, Theo, in November 1888, Van Gogh recalled Monet's work in relation to his own "Sunflowers" series: "Gauguin was telling me the other day that he had seen a picture by Claude Monet of sunflowers in a large Japanese vase, very fine, but—he likes mine better. I don't agree."