Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Arles, April 1889
oil on canvas,
53.5 cm x 65.5 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
The twisted branches of the tree in the right foreground are cut off by the edges of the canvas. Van Gogh and his brother Theo had a joint collection of Japanese woodcuts. Vincent said that these made him happy and cheerful. He also took many ideas from them for his own art.
Like many of his contemporaries, Van Gogh was inspired by the Japanese style of visual representation. Subjects were sometimes shown in close-up in the foreground or cut off abruptly at the edge of the picture. Van Gogh was also drawn to the attention paid in Japanese prints to details from nature. Flowering orchards were a frequent subject. Van Gogh still had these models in mind in 1888, when he painted a series of orchards in blossom.