Van Gogh loved flowering trees. When he arrived in Arles, France in March 1888, fruit trees were about to bloom. Thrilled by the sight, he painted nonstop, creating 14 paintings of blossoming trees. For Van Gogh, flowering trees represented the chance for a new life and extreme optimism. He painted Almond Blossom to celebrate the birth of his namesake and nephew, the son of brother Theo, his agent.
“At present I’m busy with the fruit trees in blossom – I follow no system of brushwork at all – I’m inclined to think that the result is sufficiently worrying and annoying not to please people with preconceived ideas about technique.” Vincent van Gogh to Emile Bernard. Arles, on or about Thursday, 12 April 1888