Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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David Douglas Duncan


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Follow link for an enlarged imageSunflowers for Van Gogh (1986) / view images from this book

From the book jacket text:
This romantic odyssey through all of Van Gogh's hauntingly beautiful sunflower paintings and David Douglas Duncan's unknown poetic photography from the sunflower belt of southern France, pays tribute at once to the artist's achievement and the dazzling flower itself.

Inspired by Van Gogh's vibrantly painted canvases, Duncan set out on a journey to capture with color camera the plant that had so intrigued the artist. Scarce in Van Gogh's own time, the sunflower of today grows across southern Europe in ever-increasing numbers of fields to satisfy the commercial demand for vegetable oil. This vast floral extravaganza vies with the Dutch tulip fields for spectacular beauty and abundance, yet has been ignored until now.

With photographs, Duncan reveals his own obsession to document the flower. He sought out the source of Van Gogh's inspiration at Arles, then farther afield, from Provence to the Atlantic.

In the eleven known paintings of sunflowers by Van Gogh (reproduced here all together in color for the first time) and Duncan's dramatic pictures, this book celebrates a countryside flower through the eyes of two artists.