When Vincent arrived in Arles in February, he hoped for a warmer climate and a lot of Japanese artists. In a letter to Gauguin he writes very enthusiastically about his arrival in Arles:
“There is still present to my mind the emotion by my own journey from Paris to Arles last winter. How I peered out to see whether it was like Japan yet! Childish, wasn’t it?”(Letter to Paul Gauguin, Arles, 17 October 1888)
Unfortunately, Vincent was surprised by a very hard winter. Vincent did paint some landscapes in the winter. But the cold forced him to paint inside where he made several still lifes. One of them is this blossoming almond branch in a glass. Strangely enough, this branch began to blossom indoors. Great for Vincent so he had another subject to paint.