GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)

La Crau with Peach Trees in Blossom

April 1889, Arles
Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm
Courtauld Gallery, London

Catalogue numbers: F 514, JH 1681.

When spring came round again van Gogh painted flowering orchards. This scene is painted on the same site as Harvest at La Crau but the angle of vision is more oblique and less panoramic. The same blue cart is included, just visible on the left of the canvas. Orchards and snow-capped mountains in the distance are both motifs to be found in Japanese colour prints, such as those van Gogh had used as a background for his portrait of Père Tanguy. Van Gogh had created for himself an image of Japan based in part on the woodcuts and in part on books by Western tourists to the Far East. He projected his vision of this imaginary country on to Provence in this spring version of La Crau, just as he had superimposed an image of an older Holland onto it in the harvest painting made in the manner of seventeenth-century Dutch pictures.