Sunflowers, Andalucia, Cadiz Province, Spain

Sunflowers (original title, in French: Tournesols) are the subject of two series of still life paintings by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The earlier series executed in Paris in 1887 depicts the flowers lying on the ground, while the second set executed a year later in Arles shows bouquets of sunflowers in a vase. In the artist’s mind both sets were linked by the name of his friend Paul Gauguin, who acquired two of the Paris versions. About eight months later Van Gogh hoped to welcome and to impress Gauguin again with Sunflowers, now part of the painted Décoration for the Yellow House that he prepared for the guestroom of his home in Arles, where Gauguin was supposed to stay. After Gauguin’s departure, Van Gogh imagined the two major versions as wings of the Berceuse Triptych, and finally he included them in his Les XX in Bruxelles exhibit.

Andalusia is the most populated and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities in Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognized as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. Its capital is the city of Seville (Spanish: Sevilla).

Andalusia is in the south of the Iberian peninsula, immediately south of the autonomous communities of Extremadura and Castile–La Mancha; west of the autonomous community of Murcia and the Mediterranean Sea; east of Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean; and north of the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar. Andalusia is the only European region with both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines. The small British overseas territory of Gibraltar shares a three-quarter-mile land border with the Andalusian province of Cádiz at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar.

The main mountain ranges of Andalusia are the Sierra Morena and the Baetic System, consisting of the Subbaetic and Penibaetic Mountains, separated by the Intrabaetic Basin. In the north, the Sierra Morena separates Andalusia from the plains of Extremadura and Castile–La Mancha on Spain’s Meseta Central. To the south the geographic subregion of Upper Andalusia lies mostly within the Baetic System, while Lower Andalusia is in the Baetic Depression of the valley of the Guadalquivir.

The name “Andalusia” is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus (???????) and this term derives in turn from an older word: Vandalusia or land of the Vandals. As well as Muslim and Romani influences, the region’s history and culture have been influenced by the earlier Iberians, Carthaginians/Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Byzantines, all of whom preceded the Muslims, as well as the Castilian and other Christian North Iberian nationalities who regained and repopulated the area in the latter phases of the Reconquista. There was also a relatively large Sephardic Jewish presence.

Andalusia has been a traditionally agricultural region, compared to the rest of Spain and the rest of Europe. However, the growth of the community especially in the sectors of industry and services was above average in Spain and higher than many communities in the eurozone. The region has, however, a rich culture and a strong cultural identity. Many cultural phenomena that are seen internationally as distinctively Spanish are largely or entirely Andalusian in origin. These include flamenco, bullfighting, and certain Moorish-influenced architectural styles.

Andalusia’s interior is the hottest area of Europe, with cities like Córdoba and Seville averaging above 36 °C (97 °F) in summer high temperatures. Late evening temperatures can sometimes stay around 35 °C (95 °F) up close to midnight, with daytime highs of over 40 °C (104 °F) common. Seville also has the highest average annual temperature in mainland Spain (18.6 degrees Celsius).

Cádiz is a province of southern Spain, in the southwestern part of the autonomous community of Andalusia, the southernmost part of continental Western Europe.

It is bordered by the Spanish provinces of Huelva, Seville, and Málaga, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Its area is 7,442 square kilometers.

Its capital is the city of Cádiz, which has a population of more than 128,000. The largest city is Jerez de la Frontera with 208,896 inhabitants (as of 2010), and another important city is Algeciras with just over 114,000 inhabitants. The entire province had a population of 1,194,062 (as of 2006), of whom about 600,000 live in the Bay of Cádiz area. Its population density is 160.45 per square kilometer.

Sunflowers, Andalucia, Cadiz Province, Spain

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