Of grace, finesse, and life—that is what the painting Almond Blossom by Van Gogh screams at one look!
From his collection of flower paintings, this blossom tree art has definitely won millions of hearts across the world.
The blue color itself is perceived to be associated with calmness and even melancholy.
With the endearing blue that seeps into the viewer’s eyes and the vein-like branches, Van Gogh’s flower painting was no lesser than any masterpiece.
However it is incomplete without its Blossom flowers blooming and thriving with life.
For someone known for his despondent themes in art, the Almond tree painting was a fresh change!
So, what exactly is the story here?
This article is wrapped together with a contextual and formal analysis of the painting.
Before we indulge ourselves in its details, let’s look a bit into the life of the maestro himself!
Table of contents
Briefly Into The Life of Van Gogh
There would not be anyone in the world who does not know of the great artist Vincent Van Gogh.
His excellence goes beyond his years, and is still celebrated with so much pomp and respect!
Van Gogh’s paintings were known for being a reflection of his very troubled mind.
It was around 1880 that the Post-Impressionist artist started his artistic career.
Throughout his lifetime he was known to have created around 900 paintings.
Gravely struggling with his mental health, he took his own life and died by suicide in July 1890.
But this was also the year he produced 70 paintings and the Almond Blossom by Van Gogh was one of them!
And surprisingly, Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom was made on a lighter and happier note.
Let’s look into the story and intent of the painting and learn what inspired the artist to create it.
Contextual Analysis of the Almond Blossom by Gogh
One look at the Almond Blossom by Van Gogh and you are reminded of the fresh Spring and blooming newness.
Did you know that this famous Almond Blossom painting was never sold?
In fact, it was a gift to his brother and family, particularly his new born nephew.
He created Almond Blossom painting when he was admitted at the Saint-Paul hospital where he also produced several landscape art which he was infamous for.
This is because his window brought in a beautiful view of the Alpilles, a French mountain range.
His paintings were in fact his impression of the world around him, in whatever distorted way he saw them.
When his brother, Theo Van Gogh, was blessed with a baby boy, Vincent Van Gogh was thrilled!
Theo also had decided to name the baby boy after his Uncle, Vincent!
Van Gogh was over the moon and wanted to gift something special to his nephew, thus he produced this famous flower art.
That is why the painting holds immense significance in Theo’s life that embodies celebration and joy!
Van Gogh wanted to signify the upcoming Spring and the birth of his nephew through the Almond Blossom painting.
His jovial feelings towards his nephew’s arrival was even expressed in one of his letters to his mother;
I started right away to make a painting for him, to hang in their bedroom. Large branches of white almond blossom against a blue sky. – (Letter 855, 19 February, 1890)
To look at what exactly the painting Almond Blossom by Van Gogh symbolizes, let’s get into its formal analysis.
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Formal Analysis of the Almond Blossom Painting
While Van Gogh made his Almond tree painting, it’s believed that he took inspiration from Japanese art.
If you are an art enthusiast, you would notice how the Blossom tree painting has hints of ukiyo-e print style.
But of course, here the artist has made it with his signature colors, and a beautiful intent.
Let us further look into the subject matter of the painting, the colors used and the meaning behind it!
1. The Subject in Focus
The painting Almond Blossom by Van Gogh is rather simple with the typical Gogh aesthetic.
On a pleasing blue background we have branches of the Almond tree, with white blossoms blooming.
With very simple details to it, we could call this a minimalist painting.
There are nothing but several blooming white flowers across the canvas, depicting new life and Spring.
Van Gogh has beautifully managed to evenly spread the flowers across the canvas giving a sense of tranquility.
The flowers almost seem like they are aloof in the air and flying, expressing joy and freedom.
The brilliance of this painting is that even after being so minimalist, it’s still one of the most famous paintings that the world knows of!
2. The Hues of Van Gogh
Analyzing the colors of any Van Gogh masterpiece is a complete pleasure, personally!
Van Gogh communicates a lot through the colors he uses, and there are a few set colors that we see repeatedly in his paintings.
In the Almond Blossom by Van Gogh, the background is painted with an endearing shade of blue that brings immediate calmness.
Then we have the warmer tones of brown, yellow and green for the branches, wish stays sturdy yet subtle.
And the highlight is of course the white of the gorgeous blossoms!
The white used in the painting instigates something pure and fresh with a tinge of joy.
The effects of the colors are enhanced with the use of Van Gogh’s brush strokes.
If you notice closely, some places the paint is denser and the other places lighter.
Even with the simplicity of the colors, it adds to the whole intent of the painting and what it stands for!
Wrapping Up: Van Gogh and His Blues
Well, this would definitely not be the first “blue” painting of Van Gogh you have come across!
If you’d noticed this is also one of Gogh’s paintings that is set during the day, or in daylight.
Many others that hold a melancholic tone, are wondrous because it depicts the night sky.
The Cafe Terrace at Night is one among my personal favorites, which one is yours?
Vincent’s Almond Blossom stands out from others as it possesses a happier and lighter context.
Because this particular Van Gogh blue painting represents joy and tranquility.
Many others have been a direct reflection of his mental health struggles.
We also have a painting that directly connects to Van Gogh’s suicide.
He is definitely an artist who lived through his art and connected to the world like no one before!
So many around the globe have visited the Van Gogh museum that houses the Almond Blossom painting and admired its beauty.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and I urge you to dwell more into the artist’s life and artworks!
Frequently Asked Questions
The Almond Blossom painting is currently housed in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam; it was one of the few pieces of art that was never for sale.
Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom painting represents the beginning of new life and Spring.
Van Gogh painted around 70 paintings in total in the year 1890 before his death. Many of them seem to have similarities with the Almond tree art. Some paintings were even done before this particular one like the Blossoming Almond Branch In A Glass (1888) and Blossoming Pear Tree (1888).
The Sunflowers is another infamous painting of Van Gogh that is still recognized and celebrated all over the world.
The nephew of Van Gogh, also named Vincent Van Gogh, took charge of the whole art collection after his mother, Jo’s, death. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam opened because of the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation started by him.