5000 years ago, the sunflower was worshipped by the Incas. This disc, made up of tiny flowers, was an expression of their adoration of the sun and its life-giving rays. Its many medicinal uses made it a prized bloom and its growing pattern of tilting towards the sun was a symbol of seeking light and truth in ancient times. These beginnings gave rise to the sunflower becoming an emblem of beauty and hope and the subject of writings, medical journals and art throughout history.
Vincent Van Gogh began to paint sunflowers in Paris towards the end of the 19th century. While other artists thought the flowers to be coarse and unrefined, Van Gogh revered them. Upon moving to his "Yellow House" in Arles, he decorated his guest room for the artist Paul Gauguin with his still-lifes of Sunflowers. Originally intended to be a series of twelve, only seven works were completed, five of which remain in museum collections, one in the hands of a private collector, and one thought to be lost during the second world war. Van Gogh was a brilliant colorist, and it is documented that he only used three shades of yellow for his Sunflowers. It is the glorious harmony of these colors that is the inspiration for our newest limited edition Estie: The Sunflower.
While Van Gogh is best known as a painter, he was also one of the most prolific letter writers of all time. An avid reader of the classics, Van Gogh was an excellent wordsmith, penning over 2000 letters in his short lifetime. Over 800 of his letters survive, and some critics say they stand on their own in the canon of world literature; yet another of his masterpieces. Thus, as a tribute to the art of letter writing and his iconic place in art history, we dedicate our summer release Estie to the towering and majestic Sunflower and the artist synonymous with them: Vincent Van Gogh.