On January 31, 1890, Theo van Gogh announced the birth of his son in a letter to Vincent van Gogh. The little boy was named Vincent Willem, after Vincent. Van Gogh, who was extremely close to his younger brother, immediately set about making a painting of his favorite subject: blossoming branches against a blue sky. The painting was meant as a gift for the newborn. Van Gogh choose the almond tree as a symbol of new life as the tree blooms as early as February, announcing the coming spring. Vincent Willem later founded the Van Gogh Museum.


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