There were stars in his sunflowers and sunflowers in his stars. The streak of blue that separates background and table, and marks Van Gogh’s signature, in Sunflowers fills The Starry Night. While he was painting Sunflowers, Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo about plans to create a series that “will be a symphony in blue and yellow.”
Van Gogh broke all the rules of color and brushwork. He painted sunflowers against a bright yellow background, and depicted contrast in the texture of paint rather than choice of color. The variety of brushstrokes in all of his paintings produced a surface that appears to move in a constant state of turmoil. Sunflowers droop and raise their heads in an ebb and flow similar to the night sky.
Watch a documentary about Sunflowers