Vincent van Gogh, Peach Trees in Blossom (Souvenir de Mauve) / various Trees and Orchards in Blossom, 1888
Anton Mauve, established and respected painter of the Hague School, was Vincent’s Master Teacher years earlier, and Vincent his devoted pupil. Peach Trees in Blossom (Souvenir de Mauve) was in memory of him and sent to his wife.
Letter to his brother and closest friend Theo, early March, 1888
…we will send a picture to Mme. Mauve in memory of Mauve, with a letter from us both…
Vincent was in Arles at the time. In March when the seasons changed in Arles, the fruit trees were in glorious blossom. Cherry, apple, pear, plum, apricot. It inspired Vincent greatly. The idea of him, being so excited and full of inspiration, giving his heart and soul to painting, in such a paradise… is moving.
Letter to Theo, early April, 1888
I’m in a fever of work since the trees are in blossom and I want to do a Provencal orchard full of enormous brightness.
Another letter to Theo, mid April, 1888
This morning I worked on an orchard of plum trees in bloom; all at once a fierce wind sprang up, an effect I had seen nowhere else but here, and returned at intervals. The sun shone in between, and all the little white flowers sparkled. … I went on painting at the risk and peril of seeing the whole show on the ground at any moment — it’s a white effect with a good deal of yellow in it, and blue and lilac, the sky white and blue.
Letter to trusted friend Emile Bernard, late April, 1888
I am working on nine orchards: one white; one pink, almost red; one white-blue; one grayish pink; one green and pink. Yesterday I overdid one of a cherry tree against a blue sky; the young leaf shoots were orange and gold, the clusters of flowers white, and that against the green-blue of the sky was wonderfully glorious.