Almond Blossoms


Cassidy Gillis, Editor-in-Chief

The piece Almond Blossoms was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in February of 1890. Van Gogh originally painted it as a gift for his brother and sister-in-law who had just welcomed a new son into the world. The painting consists of a beautiful almond blossom tree with small, white flowers that pop out against a background of a sound, light blue that covers most of the picture. The work contrasts his usually vivid but deep-toned color pallet with the bright colors it displays. As well his usual brush stroke texture that helped to define most of his work with a more blended, combined look.

The name of the piece, Almond Blossoms, is quite simple. Van Gogh was never one for creating very complex names for his paintings. He would call them nothing more than what the exact composition contained within the painting. Van Gogh’s style was part of the post-impressionist movement, which was defined by rejecting the classical and more realistic style of the former impressionists movement, in favor of brighter colors and more wild depictions of the life that the artist saw before them. I like to think that the simple names that Van Gogh gave many of his paintings, Almond Blossoms included, were made to create a contrast to the more abstract way in which he painted the world. His paintings were a twist to reality, but the names he gave them told the viewer nothing more than exactly what was depicted before them.

His overall message for the piece was to symbolize new beginnings. Much like summer that welcomes those blossoms, he wants people to welcome every new opportunity that the world brings them. He uses the infancy of the blossoms to represent this message of new beginnings and change. And he uses the beauty of the blossoms and the piece as a whole to represent the beauty and possibility that change can bring to you. Overall conveying the feeling that change and new starts are a positive thing, and that they can provide almost endless opportunity.

This painting is without a doubt my favorite piece that I have ever come across. It represents change, possibility, and opportunity. Which in my opinion, are some of the most important things we can encounter within our lives. They are what allow us to grow, to move on from the bad points in our lives, and they embody the hope that there is always going to be a place for you to become whatever you dream of in your life. I’ve been thinking about this painting quite a lot of late. Besides the fact that the world has been constantly falling apart and back together again for a whole year now, I’m a senior this year. Which means that for the first time in my entire life, my future isn’t planned out. It’s not like the last years where I’ll know exactly where I’ll be in 365 days; right back in school solving some obscure math problem and stressing over what I should write my column about. Next year I have no idea what I’m going to be stressing about. Change, especially an unknown change, is worrying. So to ease my mind, I like to think about next year as one of those almond blossoms; soft, kind, and beautiful.