Egon Schiele’s Sunflower

It’s not as famous as Van Gogh’s sunflowers, but I find Egon Schiele’s sunflower painting more evocative and intriguing. The angularity, choosing to depicting the sunflower as it fades and decays, the striking dark centre at the top with only a hint of yellow petals remaining, the smaller yellow flowerheads eliminating any uncertainty that this had been a magnificent sunflower, the leaves leading our eye down the stem to the base where there’s a burst of colour, the white background isolating it from any context.

Egon Schiele (Artist), Sonnenblume, 1909–1910, Wien Museum Inv.-Nr. 117523, CC BY 4.0, Foto: Birgit und Peter Kainz, Wien Museum (

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