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Van Gogh's Sunflowers Illuminated

Art Meets Science

Ella Hendriks Marije Vellekoop Maarten van Bommel Muriel Geldof Costanza Miliani Rachel Billinge Catherine Higgitt Gabriella Macaro

256 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers are seen by many as icons of Western European art. Two of these masterpieces — the first version painted in August 1888 (The National Gallery, London) and the painting made after it in January 1889 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) — have been the subject of a detailed comparison by an interdisciplinary team of experts. The pictures were examined in unprecedented depth using a broad array of techniques, including state-of-the-art, non-invasive imaging analytical methods, to look closely at and under the paint surface. Not only the making, but also the subsequent history of the works was reconstructed, including later campaigns of restoration. The study’s conclusions are set out in this book, along with the fascinating genesis of the paintings and the sunflower’s special significance to Van Gogh. More than 30 authors, all specialists in the field of conservation, conservation science and art history, have contributed to the research and publication presenting the outcomes of this unique project.
Author Bio
Ella Hendriks is full Professor of Conservation and Restoration of Moveable Cultural Heritage at the Faculty of Humanities (Department of Arts & Culture) at the University of Amsterdam. Marije Vellekoop studied art history at Utrecht University and has worked at the Van Gogh Museum since 1995, holding the position of Curator of Prints and Drawings since 1999. Maarten van Bommel is Professor of Conservation Science At the faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. Muriel Geldof is conservation and restauration specialist with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.