Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Arles, April 1888
oil on canvas,
73.6 cm x 46.3 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
The gnarled trunk and branches of this small pear tree stand out against the light background. Van Gogh was captivated by the flowering fruit trees in Provence, so he made a whole series of paintings of trees in blossom.
Van Gogh was a great admirer of Japanese printmaking and drew inspiration from it. Japanese artists often took spring blossoms as their subject. But Van Gogh adopted more than just their subject matter. The composition of his painting also shows a Japanese influence, with the small tree in the foreground and the high viewpoint.