Paris, October - November 1887 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
55.6 cm x 46.8 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Van Gogh was a great admirer of Japanese art. He wrote that it made him happy and cheerful. He made three paintings after Japanese prints from his own collection. This gave him a chance to explore the Japanese printmakers' style and use of colour.
The first of these copies is based on Utagawa Hiroshige's Plum Garden in Kameido. Van Gogh accurately reproduced the composition but made the colours much more intense. He replaced the black and grey of Hiroshige's tree trunk with red and blue tones. He also added the two orange borders with Japanese characters for a decorative and exotic effect.