Monday, March 23, 2009

Chair #82

—Designer Unknown

Punctuated by the dark brown wood, this chair is dramatically upholstered in a pale turquoise you love? Just imagine a room bathed with scrumptious turquoise walls, with heaps of leather bound books lined up on built-in bookcases. And do you know that Vincent Van Gogh painting—the one with the turquoise background—called Branches of an Almond Tree In Blossom? How perfect would an oversized print of that be, hanging in this room? 

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Vincent Van Gogh's Branches of Almond tree in Bloom was painted in Saint-Rémy, Frence in February of 1890, and currently lives at the Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This Almond tree painting clearly has Japanese influences—in letters to his friends and family, Van Gogh mentions Japan more than a hundred times. Interest in Japanese art and culture was quite popular in Europe in the latter half of the nineteenth century. This painting is one of a small handful that Van Gogh produced with a particular person in mind—in this case, his brother Theo and sister-in-law’s newborn baby. Van Gogh was deeply moved when Theo and Johanna chose to name the child Vincent and he always had a great deal of affection for the child. Van Gogh painted Branches of an Almond Tree in Bloom as a tribute to his nephew and namesake, as well as to honor the Japanese art which he so greatly admired. 

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