The Dutch painter, Anton Mauve, was one of the most important influences on Vincent as he struggled to begin his career as a painter. Vincent was a great admirer of the work of Mauve (they were also cousins) and in December, 1881 Vincent went to visit Mauve in the hope that he could learn something of the mysteries of painting.
When Mauve looked critically at Vincent first attempt at a still life, he told Vincent: "I always thought you rather dull, but now I see it isn't true." It was at this point that Vincent embarked on a new journey--to be a painter.
Vincent's relationship with Anton Mauve was a valuable one, though extremely turbulent as well. Vincent was incapable of accepting any form of criticism about his works and, to make matters worse, Mauve strongly disapproved of Vincent's relationship with the prostitute, Sien. Eventually Mauve would break off communications with Vincent altogether.
Anton Mauve played an extremely important role in the formation of Vincent's career as a painter. Vincent never forgot this and, upon hearing of Mauve's death in early 1888, Vincent immediately began painting a work in his honour, Pink Peach Tree in Blossom (Reminiscence of Mauve).