Monday: Let’s Look at Art
Artist: Vincent Van Gogh
Background: Vincent’s sister sent him a tribute from Anton Mauve, a Dutch painter who was his first teacher and an uncle by marriage; who had recently passed away. He was so moved by this experience that he decided to paint this particular piece to send to Mauve’s widow. So he wrote to his brother, Theo and asked that he send it to her on their behalf.
He created it by painting en plein air and in one session. It was created in Arles France.
Vincent created many paintings of the fruit orchards during his first few weeks in France. There are a few similarly done works of art with slightly different names. One is referred to as Pink Peach Tree in Blossom (Reminiscence of Mauve) and the second is Peach Trees in Blossom.
He called these some of his best landscapes he had done.
He completed 200 paintings in 15 months while in Arles. Van Gogh had planned to organize the series of orchard paintings into groups of 3.
Influenced by: He was inspired by the trees and the renewal of the spring blossoms. He was struggling mentally during this time period (he commits suicide in 1890). After living with his brother in Paris, Van Gogh moved to the south of France due to a strained relationship with his brother and his poor health.
Art Movement or Genre: Post-Impressionist landscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Discussion of subject matter: The original tree had peach blossoms that were pink but due to discoloration they have turned white over-time.
I love both versions of this painting. The use of softer colors creates the sense of spring time. It speaks to the freshness of spring air. I can practically smell the peach blossoms through the canvas. Van Gogh creates an emotional response through his simplicity. The fence in the background creates a sense of space within the orchard. The tree is his focus and is in the center (it takes up a significant space on the canvas). He does include some smaller trees in the background but they are quickly sketched and added with no real detail added to them. Even the grass appears to be quickly added with fast brush strokes.
The painting entitled Pink Peach Tree in Blossom (Reminiscence of Mauve) has brighter richer paint tones (introduces more red/pink tones); whereas the other piece of work, Peach Trees in Blossom, 1888 uses a much more muted tones with a significant amount of white.