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Le Tournesol/The Sunflower Edward Steichen  

Le Tournesol (The Sunflower) by Edward Steichen
Edward Steichen, Le Tournesol (The Sunflower), c. 1920, tempera and oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Collectors Committee 1999.43.1


The Painting

Edward Steichen created Le Tournesol (The Sunflower) in the years after World War I, when he painted, photographed, and gardened at his home in Voulangis, France. Steichen was an enthusiastic gardener, breeding new varieties of delphinium and raising sunflowers and other magnificent blooms. In 1920 he painted this abstract portrait of a golden, black-eyed sunflower bent over a portly vase, a work that combined his passions for painting, photography, and gardening with some of the most contemporary ideas in modern art.

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