Vincent Van Gogh’s Peace
Van Gogh is known mostly for his vibrant impressionist landscapes and portraits, and much less attention is paid to his still life pieces. In 1890, close to the end of his lifetime, he created Almond Blossom as a special gift for his brother’s newborn son. Van Gogh was a great admirer of Japanese Prints, & he occasionally borrowed some elements of style from the culture – bold color, dark outlines, flowering trees, etc.
In earlier studies, Van Gogh often painted branches in a vase as a still life. However, this piece has a more vibrant, exciting energy, as it is showing the branches against a soft blue, floating, seemingly untethered to gravity. These fluid branches have an almost coral-like look and texture, adding to the illusion that this fallen piece of a flowering almond tree has become submerged under water and soon afterwards been captured this perfectly still moment. One can easily imagine the tendrils of moss beginning to grow, flowing amongst the disintegrating flower petals and transforming this fallen branch into an eerie sanctuary for newly hatched tadpoles and tiny fish.
Blue is heralded as a grounding, calming color, and almond trees flower early in the Spring, making this painting a symbol of rebirth, new life, and hope, all subjects upon which Van Gogh often pondered. It is obvious that he put much thought and soul into this piece for his nephew, for not only was this painting meant to be a meaningful gift, its creation was likely quite beneficial for Van Gogh as well. He spent his entire adult life struggling to manage his imbalanced mental health, so for him to be able to imagine this immortal moment of peace and tranquility was a huge accomplishment in his life.
Loving Vincent, the first ‘painted’ movie!
A sneak peek of the film will be shown at the museum during the November edition of Vincent op Vrijdag (Vincent on Friday). We’ll keep you posted.
Find out more about the movie: http://lovingvincent.com/
Posted by Van Gogh Museum on Friday, October 14, 2016
This image can also be interpreted as Van Gogh’s way of introducing his nephew into a very soft, sensual, beautiful world colored with nature itself. The way that the branches in the painting continuously sprout outwards, as if they are yearning for something, leads me to believe that perhaps Van Gogh believed in a very continuous cycle of life; where nature, much like humans, is constantly expanding.
Freddie, I don’t really think that the meaning of this painting is THAT deep. Van Gogh just wanted to create a nice. beautiful painting.
I think that Van Gogh wanted to inspire others and say that his life is so complex, like the vines and flowers shown in the painting. That the vines represent his complex life, while the flowers represent his happy moments in his life, and that he must keep living (growing the vines) in order to be happy (have more flowers.) This painting definitely shows how complex and wonderful Van Gogh thought his life to be, and the struggles he felt when he encountered dead ends (the ends of the branches.)
This is such an aspiring piece for both artists and art people, and probably has to be one of those most important Van Gogh pieces. This piece is so overlooked, but shows the complexity and life-story of Vincent Van Gogh.