Today in 1890 Vincent van Gogh asked in a letter to his brother, Theo about Theo’s son who was born a couple of months earlier. Vincent asked
Often, very often, I think of my little nephew – is he well?
After the birth of his nephew who was named after him; Vincent Willem, Vincent painted this ‘Almond Blossoms’. He gave this painting as a gift to Theo and Jo in 1890.
In that letter Vincent expressed his worries about his lack of money. Theo always supported him financially. Vincent wrote that he would love to come to Holland but the trip was costly.
Vincent also shared stories about Dr Gachet. Dr Gachet treated Vincent from nerves diseases, he suffered several breakdowns months earlier. Now experts believe Vincent was manic depressive. There are many theories about this. Dr Gachet’ s treatment was not helpful as Vincent presumably commited suicide 2 months after he wrote this letter. He was found dead in his room in Auverge sur Oise, North France early in the morning at 29 July 1890. Cause of death was a gun shot in his chest.
To those who did not know, although Van Gogh brothers were Dutch, they corresponded in French hence the explanation of some French expressions in the letter.
‘Almond blossom’ is one of my favourite paintings from Van Gogh besides Starry Night, Room in Arles, Irises, Caféterras bij nacht (Terrasse du café le soir). I love the blue color, the branches and of course the blossoms. This painting represents joy, spring and new life. It is so lively but yet subtle. Vincent was clearly inspired by Japanese prints when he painted this.
This post was inspired by a post today from Van Gogh Museum at its Facebook page.
Amandelbloesem (Almond Blossoms), 1890
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Oil on canvas, 73.5 X 92 cm
Collection of Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
(Vincent van Gogh Foundation)