Vincent Van Gogh’s Flowers: Symbolism and Meaning


Artist Vincent Van Gogh used his creations as a vehicle for unfiltered, sincere emotion. He frequently employed symbols in his artwork to reflect deeper meanings, utilizing the simple act of painting as a vehicle to express his feelings and views about life. In reality, many of his well-known pieces include symbols that deepen their significance.

Van Gogh’s well-known series of floral-themed paintings is one illustration. However, Van Gogh’s artwork uses several references to or portrayals of flowers. Below is a look at some of his favorite flower themes and their meaning.

Morning Glories: Spiritual Awakening

A particular kind of flower called a morning glory spreads as a vine on walls, fences, and other supports. The beginning of the 20th century saw popularity for these tropical native houseplants. Their blossoms emit a blue tint when they open in the morning and close at night.

In his well-known painting “The Morning Glories,” Van Gogh shows a cluster of morning glories encroaching on a trellis next to a sun-drenched home. Van Gogh used the morning glory flower to symbolize the progression towards enlightenment; they signify spiritual awakening or illumination.

This Vincent van Gogh artwork was finished in 1889. Unfortunately, the artwork was never sold during Van Gogh’s lifetime, like many of his creations.

Sunflowers: Confidence and Happiness

Van Gogh frequently painted sunflowers, among his most well-known works of art. Van Gogh painted sunflowers with vivid, confident hues to evoke feelings of joy and self-assurance. The symbolism of the sunflower, which is “the search for knowledge, insight, enlightenment, and the love of beauty,” is considered to have motivated the decision to paint sunflowers. 

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Sunflowers were also thought to be able to alleviate depression. It is believed that Van Gogh painted sunflowers as a representation of confidence and joy. “Sunflowers,” one of the most famous Vincent van Gogh artwork, was finished in 1888.

Van Gogh used three tones of yellow “and nothing else” to paint sunflowers in a vase on five huge canvases. In doing so, he showed that producing a picture with countless variants of a single color was feasible without losing its effectiveness.

The sunflower paintings held a unique significance for Vincent Van Gogh since they expressed “thanks,” according to his writing. His friend’s chamber and fellow artist Paul Gauguin displayed the first two. The plants deeply attracted Gauguin- he was convinced these were Vincent’s handiwork.

When his colleague arrived, Van Gogh was done creating a new model; and when Gauguin requested one as a gift, Vincent was quick to provide him with the model.


Vase With Twelve Sunflowers II – Vincent Van Gogh

Orchids: Beauty and Artistic Sensitivity

Orchids are stunning flowers that are frequently seen as representations of beauty. Vincent van Gogh’s Orchid drawings describe artistic sensibility. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, orchids were uncommon flowers, symbolizing high social standing and aesthetic sensibility.

Because orchid cultivation was thought to demand a high talent level, it was seen as a sign of imagination and aesthetic sensibility. Van Gogh used orchids as a metaphor for his creative sensibility and tribute to his buddy and enthusiastic art collector brother, Theo.

Vincent’s artistic career was aided by Theo, who was an art dealer. Throughout his lifetime, Theo also bought other Van Gogh paintings, including “The Orchids” and “The Poppy Flowers,” which are at the top of the list of famous van Gogh artwork.

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Roses: The Meaning of Red Roses

The red rose is the most popular rose variation and a symbol utilized in a wide range of societies. The roses in Van Gogh’s paintings are a representation of romantic love as well as respect for beauty. 

Roses are also closely associated with the idea of “love at first sight,” a recurring theme in Van Gogh’s artwork. The most famous rose variation, the red rose, is associated with love, gratitude, and beauty in many cultures.

Blue and Yellow Corners: Depression and Instability

Yellow and blue are the two primary colors used in painting. These hues, together with white, are supposed to signify instability and despair in Van Gogh’s work. The two fundamental paint colors are blue and yellow, which can be combined to create a neutral tone or combined with white to create a neutral grey. 

These pairings, which Van Gogh commonly employed in his floral works, are supposed to stand for instability and sadness. The basic colors of the RGB, or red-green-blue color paradigm, are blue, yellow, and white.

Various secondary and tertiary colors can be created by combining these main colors. It’s possible that Van Gogh used these two hues together to allude to this color model and to symbolize his internal instability.

Blossom and Decay

In his floral paintings, Van Gogh frequently depicted wilting petals beginning to wilt and die. This may appear to be an odd choice for an artist known for his vibrant and vivid works. However, it is a highly significant decision representing the cycle of life and death in nature.

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In several of his flower paintings, Van Gogh depicted blossoms’ natural growth, bloom, and demise. In addition, he portrayed this process in the self-portraits he painted as he passed away. Many of these paintings depict withering petals and withering flowers, which symbolize death.


Flowers were a recurring theme in Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork, and each bloom had a significant meaning. Morning glory, a sign of spiritual rebirth, sunflowers, assurance and happiness, and orchids, a representation of creative sensitivity, were all frequent symbols utilized by Van Gogh.

Van Gogh’s choice of the colors blue and yellow is supposed to symbolize instability, while the red flowers he used are a representation of love and awe. The flowers in Van Gogh’s paintings are stunning pieces of art and have several allegorical connotations.

Originally posted 2022-11-03 11:28:16.

Denis Ava
Denis Ava
Denis Ava is mainly a business blogger who writes for Allbusinessreviews. Rather than business blogs he loves to write and explore his talents in other niches such as fashion, technology, travelling, finance, etc.

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