Almond Blossom – 1890, February

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Almond Blossom – 1890, February (Painted for his nephew Vincent)

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Almond Blossom (February, 1890 in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence) #Tb #Masterpiece

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Oil on Canvas

73.3cm x 92.4cm

Collection at VanGogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

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Almond Blossom was painted as a gift to Theo’s child whom Vincent dearly, dearly loved. Theo and Jo Bonger (Theo’s wife) had named the child after Vincent. Vincent van Gogh’s nephew was also called Vincent van Gogh

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“As we told you, we’ll name him after you, and I’m making the wish that he may be as determined and as courageous as you.” (T.v.G to V.v.G 31st January, 1890)

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“How glad I was when the news came… I should have greatly preferred him to call the boy after Father, of whom I have been thinking so much these days, instead of after me; but seeing it has now been done, I started right away to make a picture for him, to hang in their bedroom, big branches of white almond blossom against a blue sky.” (20th February, 1890 in Saint-Rémy)

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From Vincent: “My work was going well, the last canvas of branches in blossom–you will see that it was perhaps the best, the most patiently worked thing I had done, painted with calm and with a greater firmness of touch. And the next day, down like a brute. Difficult to understand, things like that, but alas! it’s like that.” (From Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh – Circa. April in 1890)

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This except is from Jo-Bonger van Gogh shortly after Vincent gifted the Almond Blossom. She wrote about her encounter with Vincent when he first came to see the newborn: “I had expected a sick man, but there was a sturdy, broad-shouldered man, with a healthy colour, a smile on his face, and a very resolute appearance; of all the self-portraits, the one before the easel is most like him at that period. ‘He seems perfectly well; he looks much stronger than Theo,’ was my first thought.” (P.169 Jo’s Memoir of Vincent van Gogh)

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Continues: Then Theo drew him into the room where our little boy’s cradle was; he had been named after Vincent. Silently the two brothers looked at the quietly sleeping baby – both had tears in their eye. Then Vincent turned smilingly to me and said, pointing to the simple crocheted cover on the cradle, ‘Do not cover him too much with lace, little sister.’” (P.170)

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Vincent van Gogh (the painter) in full name was called: Vincent Willem van Gogh (as we all know, hopefully), which is exactly the same with his Nephew. There were more than four Vincent van Gogh(s) in van Gogh family tree. The one that was closest to the painter was called ‘Uncle Cent’ by the painter’s family to avoid confusion. Uncle Cent was an art dealer with promising career at Goupil & Co (one of the largest galleries in Europe) and *supposedly* had considered Vincent as his successor. It’s quite convincing considering Cent and Cornelia (wife) didn’t have any children. (I’ll share more about family lineage, soon 🙂 )

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Vincent van Gogh was 37 years old.

3 thoughts on “Almond Blossom – 1890, February

  1. Pingback: Wheat Field with Cypresses – 1889, Saint-Remy – GLOGH

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