Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cherry and Almond Blossoms

Almond Blossom by Vincent van Gogh
Almond Blossom, by Vincent van Gogh, was painted in 1890 in honor of a special event in the artist's life. 
 On January 31, Vincent's brother Theo and his wife Johanna had a son, and they named him Vincent Willem. Vincent painted this branch of blossoming almond in celebration of the birth.

 The twisty gray-green branches and the frothy, white flowers contrast against the bright turquoise sky, revealing Vincent van Gogh's enthusiasm for the Japanese aesthetic. 

And the picture recalls Vincent's own hopefulness when he first arrived in Arles hoping to find a European counterpart to Japan.

Here is a "snap" of one of our cherry trees against a "ciel bleu" a month or so ago.  Too bad I no longer have Photoshop so I could craftily edit as Vincent did with his splendid painting.  No doubt he had no power lines to deal with.

  And now for us the weeks with the white confetti littering the walkways has passed and new thrills are being revealed.

  Here is the second of our two cherry trees in fruit.  The blackbirds ate every last one of the offerings from the first tree that was ripe weeks ago(, early for us in Nice).  But as Monsieur says," let the Merles have them.  They have no pockets in which to carry a wallet to buy."   I am not so generous.  I will be harvesting most of these in a few days.

  The fruit and new tender leaves everywhere seem to signify renewed energies .  I could really use some of that....  so lets' hear it for Vincent's hopefulness.   Huzzah.



  1. "Beautiful pictures. I just saw a 3 hr. doc by a young Brit about Vincent called Vincent: The Full Story. I recommend it. It was on the Ovation Channel here in NYC."


  2. Yes, it was great. I saw it too. ...a lot of new information, at least new to me.

  3. "Beautiful, Mary!"


  4. "Yes, I learned things, too. I'd like to see more by this great art critic. I just saw that his name is Waldemar Januszczak."


  5. Have you noticed how Van Gogh, genius though he undoubtably was, never got quite the rich, mellow, orangy quality of Provence light? Somehow the cold yellow of Holland stayed in his palette. I do love his almond blossom thing, but the sky is all wrong, as shown by your lovely photo.


  6. "I love the story about the cherry blossoms. Vincent was so beautiful."