Sprawling branches and blooms set against azure skies were one of Vincent van Gogh’s favorite things to paint.
In the South of France, Almond trees flower early in the Spring. They consequently serve as a symbol of new beginnings and a fresh start; a perfect subject for an artist celebrating a new life himself.
Painted in 1890, Almond Blossom was a gift from Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo. Theo and his wife had just welcomed a baby son into the world who they named Vincent Willem.
Writing to his brother, Theo announced “we’ll name him after you”. He expressed his wish that the child would be as “determined and courageous as you”. The adult Vincent was understandably delighted at the happy news.
Van Gogh’s nephew was born on 31 January 1890. He stated the birth brought more pleasure than he “could express in words” and accordingly began painting immediately.
Van Gogh naturally chose one of his favorite themes to celebrate the occasion. He painted many variations on blossoming trees over his lifetime, returning to the theme again and again. Vincent van Gogh tree paintings thus range from small sprigs of flowers in delicate glass vases to large, opulently blossoming branches filling his canvases. Blossoming Pear Tree and Sprig of Flowering Almond in a Glass are two examples of Van Gogh oil paintings
At the time he painted Almond Blossom, Van Gogh resided in the mental asylum at Saint-Rémy. He was admitted after a mental health crisis resulting in the severing of his own ear. This was a period of extreme highs and lows. The painting was completed during a period of improving health and it was a time of intense activity for the artist.
However, this had severe consequences which resulted in another severe mental breakdown. The relapse lasted over two months by which time Vincent had missed the remaining blossom season.
Vincent van Gogh flower paintings are a fascinating mix of post-impressionist and Japanese influences. They are less about stylistic concerns however and more about Van Gogh’s personal search for serenity and peace
Famed for their loose, expressive brushstrokes, post-impressionist painters revolutionized depictions of nature. Despite his post-impressionist roots, Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom reveals a delicacy and precision which is drawn from Japanese art.
Van Gogh painted the sky extremely carefully, later filling-in the dark outlines of the branches. He used several different pigments to create the undulating, realistic spring sky that shifts from light, vibrant blues to deep ultramarines.
The perspective is also highly unusual, as if Van Gogh were lying below the branches observing them close-up. Again, this perspective draws from Japanese printmaking which often zoomed-in on specific details from nature. Hiroshige’s Plum Garden was a particular influence, utilizing flat patterns of vivid color with minimal shadows.
Of course, Van Gogh’s subject matter itself also draws from Japanese culture. The Japanese even have a word for appreciating the transient beauty of new blossoms; “hanami”.
Because of its incredibly personal backstory, the Van Gogh family deeply cherished the Almond Blossom painting. As a treasured gift from a beloved brother, it originally hung over the piano in Theo and Jo’s living room.
After Theo died in 1891, Jo subsequently took the painting to Bussum in North Holland. Here, the artwork hung in young Vincent Willem’s bedroom. Whilst Jo sold several of the Van Gogh artworks in her possession, she never sold Almond Blossom.
In a pleasing end to the narrative, the adult Vincent Willem later founded the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The original Van Gogh Almond Blossom remains on public display at the museum today.
Vincent van Gogh paintings are recongised for their use of bold colors, dramatic expressive brushstrokes and impasto painting.
van Gogh is considered the greatest post-impressionist artist of all time but he lived a life of poverty and mental ill health. It is said that in a 10 year period he painted around 900 paintings although he only sold one painting during his short life.
In 1886 van Gogh went to Paris to live with his brother Theo van Gogh who was an art dealer. Whilst in Paris van Gogh became familiar with the new art movements of the time and he was greatly influenced by the work of the Impressionists artists and Japanese printmakers. Vincent van Gogh oil paintings display a reverence for Japanese art which is apparent in paintings such as Flowering Plum Orchard after Hiroshige 1887 and The Courtesan after Eisen 1887.
During the summer of 1888 van Gogh left Paris for southern France and whilst in Provence he painted scenes of Wheatfields, Cypress Trees, peasants and rustic life characteristic of the region. It was when he was living in Arles that he began to use the swirling brush strokes and intense yellows, greens, and blues which we now associate with so many of his paintings.
All of our Van Gogh reproductions on canvas employ the impasto technique introduced by Van Gogh and which is seen in the majority of his paintings.
Van Gogh persuaded Paul Gauguin, whom he had met earlier in Paris to join him in Arles. It was a volatile friendship with one argument culminating in the now famous quarrel in which van Gogh wildly threatened Gauguin with a razor; the same night, in deep remorse, van Gogh cut off part of his own ear.
Van Gogh spent a year in the nearby Asylum of Saint-Remy but continued to paint between repeated spells of mental ill health. Vincent van Gogh's most famous painting The Starry Night 1899. The Starry Night 1899, was painted whilst he was in the Asylum, and depicts the view from his hospital room.
Starry Night over the Rhone was painted in 1888 and is another nighttime painting which was completed at Arles. This scene was just a short walk from The Yellow House at the Place Lamartine a Vincent van Gogh oil painting also completed in 1888.
On July 27 1890, shortly after completing Wheatfields with Crows Vincent shot himself and died two days later at the age of 37.
Famous van Gogh paintings include Irises 1889, The Cafe Terrace at Night. Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers, Vase With Twelve Sunflowers of which there are 12 in the series were painted in Arles during 1888 and 1889; Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers was sold at auction and set a record price for any artwork at that time.
Van Gogh canvas reproductions are for sale in many size options.
Discover our large catalog of van Gogh famous painting reproductions.
We offer a 100% money back guarantee or replacement service. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your painting please contact us within 7 days of receipt, advising the reason you are unhappy and we will provide you with all the information you need for its return or replacement.
Your painting will be shipped rolled in strong plastic tubing, ready for stretching and/or framing locally. This is the conventional method of transporting hand-painted oil on canvas. Learn more about how your painting is shipped.
Please note that replica oil paintings are finished with an additional 10cm (4") of extra canvas on all sides, allowing ample surplus canvas for stretching and framing.