Two of the greatest painters in European art history are Dutch. One can see 22 paintings by Rembrandt and 206 by Van Gogh in Amsterdam. I visited the Reijksmuseum which houses a large collection of paintings from many artist of the Dutch Golden Age. I spent a day in the Van Gogh Museum which I preferred as I enjoyed being able to focus on a single artist and developing my knowledge of his life and works.
The history of this painting per the Van Gogh Museum website….On January 31, 1890, Vincent’s brother Theo wrote to him of the birth of his son, whom he had named Vincent Willem. Van Gogh, who was extremely close to his younger brother, immediately set about making him a painting of his favorite subject: blossoming branches against a blue sky. The gift was meant to hang over the couple’s bed. As a symbol of this new life, Vincent chose an almond tree, which blooms early in southern regions, announcing the coming spring as early as February. (www.vangoghmuseum.com)