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

Pink Peach Trees ('Souvenir de Mauve')

March 1888, Arles
Oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo

Catalogue numbers: F 394, JH 1379.

The painter Anton Mauve married into van Gogh's family in 1874 and became a cousin of Vincent. When van Gogh went to The Hague in November 1881, Mauve, who normally accepted no students, was willing to teach him the use of oil paint and watercolour. Unfortunately, the fruitful relation between the painters did not last long. When van Gogh started a personal liaison with Sien Hoornik, an unmarried mother and prostitute, Mauve, like others, was scandalised and broke off all contact with Vincent. Nevertheless, van Gogh always fondly remembered his lessons with the painter. When Mauve died in 1888, van Gogh, who by then was painting flowering trees in Arles, inscribed one of his compositions with "Souvenir de Mauve" and sent it to the artist's widow.

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