After episodes of self-mutilation and hospitalization, Vincent van Gogh chose to enter an asylum. Within the first week, he began paintingIrises. Each flower is unique as he carefully studied them creating a variety of curved silhouettes bounded by wavy, twisting, and curling lines. The painting's first owner, French art critic Octave Mirbeau wrote: "How well he has understood the exquisite nature of flowers!"
Digital image courtesy of Getty's Open Content Program.