Almond Trees in Blossom
Darío de Regoyos y Valdés

Almond Trees in Blossom

1905
  • Oil on canvas

    46 x 61 cm

    CTB.1987.19

  • © Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza

Almond Trees in Blossom depicts a scene on the Spanish Mediterranean coast during the months of January or February. Although the exact location is unknown, it must correspond to the area around Castellón de la Plana, which Regoyos visited in 1905, when he was living in San Sebastián.

It is usual in Regoyos's work for a human figure to appear amid the landscape and here there is one at centre. Indeed, it is unusual for his landscapes not to include figures. As an anecdotal motif, Regoyos included a red parasol of the type often found in the Impressionist paintings of Monet and his close friend Camille Pissarro.

Painted from the terrace of a nearby house, the composition comprises the horizontal lines of the river banks and the horizon and the diagonal lines of the path, with the spaces between set out in such a way as to achieve a perfectly balanced whole. In addition, the artist applied his wide knowledge of the Divisionist technique to obtain, thanks to a precise use of the brush, a green countryside filled with colour and variety. This creates a perfect contrast with the paths, which are bare from the frequent passing of carriages and people. Regoyos was particularly skilled at conveying the exact texture and colour of this kind of track.

The presence of almond trees in blossom indicates the type of climate and the Mediterranean area to which it belongs. Regoyos used the group of trees to conceal what lies behind the wall on the right, but not completely, as the tops of a number of cypresses can be seen rising up behind.

Regoyos painted the title on the reverse of his pictures whenever he sent them to exhibitions and knew he would not be present when they were hung, as was the case with this canvas, which bears the title Amandiers en Fleur on the reverse. Doing this made it easier for gallery owners to identify the work and the sale price asked, as the paintings on display would be accompanied by a hand-written list of titles and prices.

The whereabouts of this work were unknown until 1986, when it appeared at a public auction in France. The first owner has not yet been identified. As the painting was never exhibited in Spain during the artist's lifetime, Regoyos must almost certainly have sold it or given it to some artist friend during the Brussels exhibition of 1906.

Juan San Nicolás