Van Gogh’s “Vase with 12 Sunflowers” and “Still Life with Absinthe”

Words Applied to Work Art 1 (Vase with 12 Sunflowers) Words Applied to Both Artistic Pieces Words Applied to Work Art 2 (Still Life with Absinthe)
The painting is presented predominantly in yellow, warm colors, except for the blue background.
It has no contrasts.
The painting consists only of one main object.
It is impossible to identify the background characteristics, except for color.
The vase is made of ceramics; it is not transparent.
Both artistic pieces are aimed at perpetuating a specific moment in a timeline.
Both works represent monotonous, smooth, predominantly yellow.
Both artworks represent innate objects in the foreground.
Both works focus on various stages of life.
Although both paintings are representations of still objects, there are still some elements of dynamics.
The painting palette is diverse.
The artistic work depicts several objects, including a man in the background.
The background allows the viewers to identify that the depicted objects are located in the house with the window.
It is possible to define what weather is outside the window.
Both objects in the foreground are made of glass.

Van Gogh’s works – Vase with 12 Sunflowers and Still Life with Absinthe – perpetuate certain objects in various stages of development and refer to different contexts. Both artistic pieces represent different color palettes and depict various objects, but there are still a number of similarities.

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While analyzing the differences, specific emphasis should be placed on the analysis of light and shadow technique, object representation, material representation, and position of the objects in the painting.

To begin with, artistic work 1 (Sunflowers) introduces yellow, ochre, and bright colors, except for the blue wall on the background. In contrast, there is a much greater variety of colors in the second artistic work. Second, the first painting focuses on one subject – flowers represented at different life stages, whereas Still, Life with Absinthe focuses on two main objects and people depicted in the background, which contributes to the dynamics of the work. Third, the artists choose the object made of different materials. Thus, in the first work, the ceramic vase is the central object of the composition, whereas the second painting represents two objects made of glass. Finally, the second artistic piece implies many more details, including windows, furniture, and people outside the house, which can distract the viewers from the central composition.

Despite a great number of differences, there are certain similarities. This is of particular concern to the theme, colors, and contextual ground. To begin with, both paintings are performed predominantly in warm, yet dull color palettes. Second, both artistic works focus on particular lifecycle stages, representing the inevitability of existence. In particular, each sunflower depicted in the first painting introduces a specific period in life, whereas the second picture focuses on the solitary life of a house owner because there are only one glass and one bottle on the table.

Finally, it is possible to define the season of the year in both paintings, although in different ways. For instance, the vase with sunflowers could refer to the later summer. The weather distinctions can be clarified while looking at the background of the second artistic work. Dynamic representation of objects can also be traced in both paintings, which points to the constant flow of life and inevitability of the lethal outcome. Existential motifs are implicitly represented as well.

Works Cited

Van Gogh, Vincent. “Still Life with Absinthe”. n. d. Web.

Van Gogh, Vincent. “Vase with 12 Sunflowers”. n. d. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, January 9). Van Gogh’s "Vase with 12 Sunflowers" and "Still Life with Absinthe". Retrieved from

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"Van Gogh’s "Vase with 12 Sunflowers" and "Still Life with Absinthe"." StudyCorgi, 9 Jan. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Van Gogh’s "Vase with 12 Sunflowers" and "Still Life with Absinthe"." January 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Van Gogh’s "Vase with 12 Sunflowers" and "Still Life with Absinthe"." January 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Van Gogh’s "Vase with 12 Sunflowers" and "Still Life with Absinthe"." January 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Van Gogh’s "Vase with 12 Sunflowers" and "Still Life with Absinthe"'. 9 January.

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