Van Gogh painted The Mulberry Tree in October of 1889 less than a year before his death. In October, he writes to his brother in Paris, “I’ll tell you that we’re having some superb autumn days, and that I’m taking advantage of them.” In December he sends a few of the works he painted during the autumn to his brother, but it is the Mulberry Tree that he says is his favorite.
The Mulberry Tree is centered on the canvas and is growing alone from a rocky hillside. The ground is made up of short quick brushstrokes of white and pale browns. It creates a strong contrast to the dark green and brown of the tree trunk. To the right, you see more greens, indicating trees and growth in the distance.
The Mulberry Tree by Van Gogh is a great example of his work and shows an interesting insight to his life. His bright colors show his interest in Impressionism, as this painting along with a few others was included in the Société des Artistes Indépendants show in 1890. His life was dedicated to art, and his letters are almost entirely devoted to the subject. This painting shows his knowledge of color theory with the use of the orange tree leaves against the complementary color of the blue sky. The leaves of the tree make up the majority of the painting -- itt is that “superb autumn” that gave Vincent the bright orange leaves to paint. The ground and sky are made up of mostly straight diagonal brushstrokes, while the tree leaves are made up of curling spirals of orange and black, sometimes done with the handle of his brush.