Over 50,000 dahlias were used to make the likeness of the artist, who died on July 29, 1890 – 125 years ago on Wednesday – when he committed suicide at age 37. The medium is particularly appropriate since flowers were one of Van Gogh's most frequent subjects.
According to a PBS Newshour blog post, the memorial is only one of many tributes to the artist's legacy. Among others is a bike path in Amsterdam that uses creatively arranged lights to simulate "Starry Night," one of the Dutch artist's most famous paintings. And the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise is organizing tours of the sites that inspired his paintings as well as the locations where he spent his final days.
On Wednesday, members of Van Gogh's family laid sunflowers, another famous subject of his, on his grave in Auvers-sur-Oise.
Van Gogh said in 1885 that the world would appreciate his work more after he was dead. He turned out to be correct, and the events on the 125th anniversary of his death have been organized by Van Gogh Brabant under the theme "125 Years on Inspiration" to ensure that his creative legacy continues to be remembered and celebrated.