In the arts resource "Everything Under the Sun: Teaching the Arts" posted by the MIA, Chihuily is described as walking with his mother at dusk every day to watch the sun set over the waters of Puget sound. In contrast with many of his creations which are presented untitled, this work "Sunburst" would seem to bring some personal and subjective associations with it.
In the last year before his death in 1980, Vincent Van Gogh spent time at an asylum in the south of France where he became entranced with the olive trees in the countryside surrounding the hospital where he was confined. In this painting "Olive Trees" the autumnal colors of the landscape and the cool tones in the trees are in stark contrast to the vibrant, radiant and intense sun in the sky overhead.
Both representations of the sun in these works pulsate with energy given by their form and the medium brilliantly handled by the artists, but beyond that they have a power that may come from personal meaning. Although these works differ in medium, dimensionality and historical era, the pulsating, radiant power of the sun permeates both works of art and transcends their differences.