He turned to religion and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. Large blobs of paint – purple, pink, green, yellow, orange – are scattered on the walls, floor and ceiling. His paintbrush is hurriedly introduced: deep, decisive brush strokes turning the bareness of the foundry into a colourful space. His Sunflowers masterpiece transforms into bouquets of flowers with multi-coloured petals.