Almond Blossom, 1890

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

  • Oil on Canvas, 73.5 X 92 cm
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
  • F 671

On January 31, 1890, Theo wrote to Vincent of the birth of his son, whom he had named Vincent Willem. Van Gogh, who was extremely close to his younger brother, immediately set about making him a painting of his favorite subject: blossoming branches against a blue sky. The gift was meant to hang over the couple’s bed. As a symbol of this new life, Vincent chose an almond tree, which blooms early in southern regions, announcing the coming spring as early as February.

More information about "Almond Blossom"


Already in Arles, Van Gogh had been fascinated by the orchards, filled with apricot, peach and plum trees and in full bloom at the time of his arrival in March 1888.

The composition of Almond Blossom is, however, both unusual and unique in Vincent’s oeuvre. The branches seem to float against the blue sky, and it is unclear if they are still part of the tree or set in a vase, as in one of his earlier works.

With an unusual regularity, the entire pictorial surface has been filled with branches, which are further accented by the use of dark contours. Both this sharp outlining and the placement of the tree were certainly inspired by Japanese prints, which Van Gogh had seen for the first time in Paris. This influence can also be seen in a number of other paintings.

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