Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, February 1890
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Almond trees flowering early in the spring marks one of this season's many symbols of new life. Van Gogh loved nature, and this was one of his favorite subjects. He frequently painted the blossom branches against a blue sky.
The painting was a gift for his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo, who had just had a baby. Their son, Vincent Willem went on to found the Van Gogh Museum. The painting is one of the most treasured of the family, and has never been sold. It stays in the Van Gogh museum to this day.
Painting the branches close-up, and from below, Vincent Van Gogh chose an unusual perspective. It looks as if you are lying on the grass looking at the branches above you. Van Gogh drew this inspiration from Japanese printmaking, as well as the bold outlines and the positioning.