Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Arles, April 1888
oil on canvas,
50 cm x 37.5 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
The tree Van Gogh painted was just a frail little sapling. But filling the whole length and breadth of the canvas with it gives it something majestic. Van Gogh learned this technique of isolating, enlarging and foregrounding a single element of a landscape from Japanese woodcuts. He admired Japanese prints enormously and constantly tried to equal them in his paintings.
It was the height of spring. Van Gogh said that he had six paintings of ‘blossoming fruit trees’ on the go. He hoped paintings of this appealing subject would sell well.