Almond Tree in Blossom, 1888
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Spring in Arles spurred Van Gogh to enormous efforts. He was particularly fascinated by blossoming fruit trees and within a month he had made fourteen paintings of this subject. On about April 21 he wrote to Theo, ‘I will have to seek something new, now the orchards have almost finished blossoming.’
Here he has shown the tree in close-up, with the twigs and stem touching the edges of the painting. A striking note is the yellow butterfly between the pink blossom growing on the red twigs.
Van Gogh knew this theme from Japanese art; more than once during his time in Paris, he had based paintings of blossoming trees on a Japanese print.