On the 7th of each month all the tree followers who are joining in with Lucy’s meme at looseandleafy give an update of their chosen tree. This morning I made my way down the little lane which leads to the tree.
As I said before my mulberry is not a tree in a hurry. It was late getting its leaves and the leaves are late getting their autumn colour.
There are a few shrivelled fruits left on the tree. Mulberry berries are not actually berries but multiples of tiny drupes or druplets. I feel I have to mention this for Jason at gardeninacity who is very keen on drupes and very knowledgeable about them.
The side of the tree which faces the sun has some buttercup yellow foliage. Just a bit.
I was disappointed because early October 1889 is when Van Gogh painted the wonderful, autumn foliage of his dazzling picture of the Mulberry Tree which grew in the grounds of the asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Van Gogh was here as a voluntary patient after cutting off his ear, or part of it, during a row with Gaugin. He had had to leave his little yellow house after a petition signed by 30 local people who were keen to get rid of the ‘fou rouge’ as they called him. In May 1889 he left Arles and became a voluntary patient in the asylum.
Van Gogh wrote to his sister, Willemina: ‘As regards mulberry trees, there are a lot here. I painted one not long ago when its bushy foliage was a magnificent yellow against a very blue sky and a white, stony, sunlit field behind.’
I really wish my mulberry tree looked like this. But Van Gogh’s tree is Morus alba rather than Morus nigra and the blue sky is lit up by the luminous light of Provence rather than the pale blue of a Suffolk October sky. There are no white stones here to set off the tree either. And of course this is a mulberry tree filtered through the eyes of a genius. Van Gogh seemed calm and settled when he painted this. He wrote to his brother: ‘I’ll tell you we are having some superb autumn days, and that I’m taking advantage of them’. In fact all his paintings were done in periods of calm because when he was in the grip of madness he was unable to paint.
Less than a year after painting this beautiful mulberry tree Van Gogh shot himself whilst out painting in the wheat fields. He was just 37.
Thank you once again Lucy for hosting this tree following meme which I am finding quite a challenge.