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The Sunflowers Are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh's Masterpiece

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This is the story of one of the world’s most iconic images. Martin Bailey explains why Van Gogh painted a series of sunflower still lifes in Provence. He then explores the subsequent adventures of the seven pictures, and their influence on modern art. Through the Sunflowers, we gain fresh insights into Van Gogh’s life and his path to fame. Based on original research, the b ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by White Lion Publishing (first published November 1st 2013)
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Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very readable study of Van Gogh's life as seen through the creation of his 7 paintings of sunflowers; the second half gives us the histories of the paintings since Van Gogh's death. The reproductions are excellent, and there are a lot of fascinating old photos, too. As always, Van Gogh's words, as drawn from his letters, are touching and enlightening. The author uses these, and the correspondence of those who know Van Gogh to good effect. ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautiful dive into some of Van Gogh's most iconic paintings is a definite must-read for those who love his work. Carefully written, with obvious painstaking research informing it, it is a book full of information about the artist's life and his mental status when he set out to paint his sunflowers.

The book delves into the influences of the time that led Van Gogh to paint these flowers, along with the mental fragility that led him to doubt his own talent. With the added benefit of the imag
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, art
What a gorgeous book! I'm a casual fan of Van Gogh, and loved the opportunity to delve deeper into his artwork. This was thoroughly researched, but also written in a way that was engaging and easy to understand. The author's tone was unpretentious, and more enthusiastic and informative, which I appreciated. I think both serious artists and casual fans will enjoy this book. Biographical information, Van Gogh's influences, as well as his specific artistic techniques were included. I learned quite ...more
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The sunflower is mine, in a way.

If you know me you know about my love for sunflowers and you might have guessed that Van Gogh's Sunflowers are my favorite paintings.

This book traces the journey of all 7 of his Sunflower paintings from their inception, to what happened to them after his death. It explores how these paintings traveled across the world, and where they ended up. It has been a journey.

This book was just a warm yellow hug. The images in the book are strikingly beautiful. I learned
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes. Thank you!

An in-depth look at the history of one of world’s most famous sets of paintings: Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Bailey writes about the very origins of the paintings, about Van Gogh’s life around the time of the creation of Sunflowers, about the critical reaction to the pieces and of their fate before and after Van Gogh’s death, as well as about their eventual “places of residence”. The book is full of beau
Bonnye Reed
Feb 21, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
pub date Sept 1, 2013
Frances Lincoln
Repub Feb 5, 2019
Received Feb 5, 2019
Quarto Publishing Group - White Lion Publishing
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated book is the story of Van Gogh’s iconic sunflower paintings, a fascinating account of the different versions and their adventures in time and place. All the paintings are collected at the end, making comparisons easy and rewarding, with their provenance and list of owners. A timeline and full bibliography are included, making this an accessible volume for the general reader as well as a useful one for the scholar and art historian. A great ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely stunning and enjoyable read. Hands down, Vincent is my favourite artist of all time.
January Gray
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even non-art lovers are aware of Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings. This tells you the inspiration for them. Beautiful, lovely book. Quite a treasure! ...more
Donna Davis
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been an Van Gogh fan ever since I stumbled upon Lust for Life by Irving StoneLust for Life. I have read other books about Van Gogh and his work, and I would place The Sunflowers are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh's Masterpiece as one of the best I've read. The biography section was concise, but telling. The relationships between Van Gogh and other painters of his period and the way they exchanged paintings was something I had not known much about.

I especially enjoyed the second part about t
Kendall Morgan Hall
“I’m painting with the gusto of a Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which won’t surprise you when it’s a question of painting large Sunflowers.” - Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo

The Sunflowers Are Mine is a heavy-researched non-fiction book about one of art history’s most iconic paintings, Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. It is also a very informative biography of the artist around that time. I did not know that much about Vincent Van Gogh before reading this book. I’ve always been
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Sunflowers are mine" by Martin Bailey explores the relationship between van Gogh and his famous sunflower paintings.

The book sets the scene beginning with van Gogh's waning days in Paris. He had reached a level of dissatisfaction with his life, and the book follows him as he moves to Arles. But one positive note from his time in Paris was the stimulation of being around other artists, and van Gogh tried to recreate that comradery in his new home. There he literally bloomed and most of his
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The attraction of this wonderful book is not only due to the sumptuous photographs of Van Gogh's mesmerising iconic works but also the informative and lucid prose provided by Martin Bailey who is a leading Van Gogh specialist and has curated several Van Gogh exhibitions. In addition he has authored a number of bestselling books on the artist. In The Sunflowers Are Mine, Martin narrates the story of the series of sunflower still lifes that he painted while staying in Paris and Provence. He painte ...more
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-story
Starry starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand
Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now
For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left
Apr 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, art
A favorite book with many insights, this book was absorbing, revealed things I did not know, and, importantly, made me better able to imagine how Van Gogh may have actually felt in creating some of his pictures and how he was motivated. I chose this book after seeing the author in a documentary film.
I love sunflowers and hoped to like "The Sunflowers Are Mine." While the book is educational and includes details of Van Gogh's life that I did not know before, it's a bit dry. I think I'll stick with looking at his paintings, but I would recommend this book to art lovers or anyone' who's interested in digging deeper into Van Gogh's life and work. ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, van-gogh
The Sunflowers Are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh's Masterpiece by Martin Bailey, a re-edition of the 2013 book of the same name, takes Vincent van Gogh’s iconic flower and examines, the hows, whos, and wheres of those famous paintings.

The book is comprised of essentially two halves. The first examines how Van Gogh came to choose the sunflower, his influences, Van Gogh’s situation when he painted each of the seven canvases. The second half follows the story of each painting once they left the easel
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Can you believe possible such luck? The author of The Sunflowers

are Mine, Martin Bailey tells this wonderful anecdot: he was in Paris, spending the last of the year with a couple of Parisian friends and sharing with them his interest for Van Gogh. The couple, so, encouraged, told him a singular, absolutely stunning adventure.
What a stroke of luck!
As many people do, they bought a second-hand book in a bouquiniste stall located close to the Seine.
As it happens often, people bring home used book a
Araceli Romo
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book relates part of the life of Vincent van Gogh along with the development of one of his most known creations, The Sunflowers. The text is divided into two major parts, the first focuses on the artist’s lifetime highlighting important times of Van Gogh’s life where he seemed to have acquired inspiration or drive to push on his idea of these paintings. These highlights are accompanied by personal anecdotes and paintings which make the telling interesting and full of enjoyment. The second pa ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous art, great history, good technical info all about Vincent Van Gogh and his revolutionary painting style, his favorite color- yellow. His dreams and problems dominate his life along with a constant lack of money. Many artists will enjoy his story and have empathy fork feelings and moods. A good history of what happened to his paintings, - in auctions, WWI and WWII. As an artist I enjoyed reading about his techniques and the locations of his paintings. This is a wonderful art book for art ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I am reviewing this book the Sunflowers are Mine for Martin Bailey, Quarto Publishing and NetGalley who gave me a copy of their book for an honest review.
A journey through life using his sunflower paintings – loved the artwork and drawings. You can tell the author has researched the topic intensely and knows what he is on about.
Fran Pickering
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating account of Van Gogh's sunflower pictures and their eventual fate. Beautifully produced with plenty of full-colour illustrations.

See my blog post Van Gogh and Japan
Polly Krize
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

A lifelong lover of Vincent's paintings, this journey of his life, seen through the Sunflower painting series, is enjoyable and accurate. Gorgeous reproductions, and drawings too. Lovely book.
Chris Pelzer
Journalism. Last few chapters trace the ownership of the sunflower pictures, tracing the changes in price. Not particularly interesting or insightful.
John Sweeney
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