In the days before leaving Saint-Remy Van Gogh had embarked on a series of still-life paintings of cut flowers. This was a subject that he had periodically turned to through his short career, and one that he returned to in
Auvers. In June he painted a number of pictures of flowers in vases, including this one with a strong oriental feel and a strange distorted perspective.
This was a short period of relative calm and happiness for the artist, who had characteristically thrown himself into his work. He had also planned to start drawing again while at Auvers, and his interest in drawing is discernible in this work. He had written to Theo full of enthusiasm for his new friend Dr. Gachet and had described how the doctor's house was full of art and 'full of useful things to arrange flowers in or to compose still lifes'. suggesting that he painted this work at his house. Van Gogh's initial happiness at Auvers was in good measure linked to his rapport with Dr. Gachet, who provided him with stimulating company, and more importantly was full of praise for his work.