This study of wild flowers in a terracotta vase was painted in June 1890 in Auvers-sur Oise, where Van Gogh settled following his release from the asylum at St-Rémy. Renting a room at the Ravoux Inn, he spent his days painting the countryside.
Still Life... is one of the few works that Van Gogh 'sold' during his lifetime, possibly as payment for medical consultation with Dr Gachet. It was later acquired by Gaston Alexandre Camentron, a noted early collector of Impressionist pictures, who sold it to the Paul Cassirer Gallery in 1911.
It remained with a series of private collectors in Germany until the mid 1920s, when it was sent to London and then to the Knoedler Gallery New York where - as one of the first Van Goghs in America - it was sold in 1928 for $12,000 to A. Conger Goodyear. On display at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo from 1962, it was offered for sale by Christie's New York in November 1990 at the family's request.
Then, in the final throes of the Impressionist picture boom (earlier in the year Van Gogh's Portrait of Dr Gachet sold at Christie's for a record $82.5m), it failed against a $12m-15m estimate.