Van Gogh's Sunflowers are fading. Yellow turns brown

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will review the conditions of the exposition of the iconic painting “Sunflowers”. The need for this arose after the experts found out that the petals and stems on the canvas "fade" - from yellow become olive-brown. The problem is that the artist used light-sensitive paint.A complex X-ray scan of the canvas revealed that Vincent Van Gogh used two different types of chrome yellow, one of which is more susceptible to degradation when exposed to light. Changes in the painting, painted in 1889, are not yet visible to the human eye. But over time, colors lose their brightness against a pale yellow background - in those fragments where the artist mixed sensitive pigment in order to achieve the desired green shade.
Orange background areas are unlikely to be significantly affected, as Van Gogh used less sensitive yellow paint with lower sulfur content.Sunflowers in a yellow vaseVincent Van Gog January 1889, 95 × 73 cm “It is very difficult to say how long it will take for the changes to become apparent. This will largely depend on external factors, ”said expert Frederick Vanmeert from the University of Antwerp, who participated in the research. Scientists have identified areas where Van Gogh used light-sensitive yellow chrome. Over time, restorers will have to pay special attention to these areas. In addition, very small fragments of the web were found, where emerald-green pigment and lead red lead were used - they, too, will sooner or later turn pale.
A team of Dutch and Belgian scientists for two years conducted research commissioned by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which houses the world's largest collection of works by the artist. Five years ago, in an effort to preserve its 200 paintings and 400 drawings, the institution muted the lighting in the exhibition halls.Landscape The development of the genre from antiquity to the present day: how did religion and the invention of oil painting techniques contribute to the formation of the genre in Europe and why is the Hudson River so important? Read more Van Gogh "The Reaper in a Wheat Field and the Sun" from the collection of the Amsterdam Museum was written in the same 1889 as the "Sunflowers" The fact that the color of Vincent van Gogh's fading yellow, scientists from France, Belgium and the United States reported three years ago. In their opinion, fading threatens many of the masterpieces of the impressionists, post-impressionists and early modernists, who used this pigment extensively.The estimated original appearance of the painting “The Joy of Life” by Henri Matisse (reconstruction from the left) in comparison with its current state. Photo: The Telegraph Current research will be relevant to a number of post-impressionist works. After processing the results, the curators will more closely monitor the color changes in other paintings. Van Gogh often used chrome yellow, so that bleaching, as experts believe, can threaten other paintings. Apparently, the change in the appearance of the paintings was not a surprise for Van Gogh himself. “Pictures fade like flowers,” he remarked in one of his many letters to Brother Theo.
"Sunflowers" from Amsterdam - one of the second series of pictures of the same name. The first cycle, written in Paris in 1887, presents flowers on the ground, the second — better known — in vases. Other works are in the London National Gallery, art museums in Philadelphia and Tokyo, in New Pinakothek in Munich and in a private collection. Another canvas was destroyed during World War II.Twelve Sunflowers in a VaseVincent Van GoghAugust 1888, 91 × 71 cmVase with sunflowersVincent Van Gog January 1889, 92 × 72.5 cmSunflowers in a vase (Fifteen sunflowers version of 1889) Vincent Van Gogh Janvar 1889, 100.5 × 76.5 cmVase with five sunflowersVincent Van GoghAugust 1888, 98 × 69 cmSunflowers (Waza with fifteen sunflowers) Vincent Van GoghAugust 1888, 92.1 × 73 cm "Amsterdam" sunflowers inherited Vincent's sister-in-law, Joanna (Joe). From 1946 to 1973, the canvas visited almost 80 exhibitions around the world, then the Van Gogh Foundation donated it to the Museum of the painter for a permanent lease. Nowadays a masterpiece rarely leaves its place. Only in 2014 he was sent to London to demonstrate alongside the "twin version".Two versions of Van Gogh's Sunflowers at an exhibition in London in 2014. Photo: The Financial Times Meanwhile, in the British capital, the largest in over 70 years retrospective of the Dutch post-impressionist is being prepared.
The following spring, the Tate Gallery will tell the story of young Van Gogh, who was barely over 20, when he came to London and settled in Borough Lambeth on the south bank of the Thames. For the exhibition, 40 canvases from various collections will be lent, including the “Starry Night over the Rhone” from the Orsay Museum in Paris. The exhibition will run from March 27 to August 11, 2019.Starry night over Rhone Vincent Van GoghSeptember 1888, 92 × 72.5 cm Arthive: read us in Telegram and look in Instagram
Based on The Guardian and several other sources. Main illustration: three versions of Vincent Van Gogh's "Sunflowers in a Vase" at the museum in Amsterdam; Photo - Robbert Slagman / EPA