Irises by Van Gogh. A work valued at 53.9 million dollars. Yes, but back in 1987.
Irises is a creation from 1889, the year when Van Gogh was confined to the psychiatric clinic of St-Rémy in France after presenting himself at the local brothel in Arles to a young woman named Rachel. The request to the woman, as newspapers of the time report, was quite peculiar: ‘Carefully preserve an object.’ It wasn’t just any object, but rather the lobe of his ear, which he had self-amputated.
In 1987, the artwork was purchased by Alan Bond for a sum that made history in the modern art market, and to this day remains one of the highest amounts ever paid, surpassed only two years later by another portrait also by the hand of Van Gogh.
What strikes most about this canvas is the viewer’s complete immersion in the landscape. The representation at ground level allows us to imagine ourselves lying down alongside, observing these splendid flowers with vivid chromatic contrasts: green, bluish-purple, and then a touch of white on the left.
There’s a perfect balance, characteristic of Japanese art that Van Gogh so loved and understood. Beyond time and space, it allows us to become a part of it, even if only for a few seconds.
A masterpiece worth millions of dollars, which today is estimated to be even more valuable than its past purchase price, yet it won’t return to the market anytime soon.
If you wish to take a look, simply visit the Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where it’s displayed.
Numerous accessories have been created inspired by Van Gogh’s works. Scarves, blouses, bags, and much more. My favorite, and the only one I would gladly carry during this period, is the umbrella.
Not just any umbrella, but the one from Von Lilienfeld that features Iris on its interior. Thus, I can enjoy the artwork all to myself and brighten up a rainy day while also being elegant on the outside with a touch of black.
Iris Van Gogh Umbrella by Von Lilienfeld