Van Gogh arrived at the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Remy in May 1889, and come under the supervisory core of Dr. Pegron, a former naval doctor. It was a voluntary move for the artist, who had realized that he was
unable to live alone, and had been shunned by the local people of Arles. He was allocated two rooms side-by-side, one to serve as a bedroom and one as a studio, and was allowed to wander the asylum and its garden at will,
unlike most of the other patients who were more seriously disturbed. Later, Van Gogh would also be allowed on short painting excursions into the countryside while accompanied by an attendant.
He threw himself into his work, painting the view from his barred window and produced several pictures of irises and this painting of lilac blossom shortly after his arrival. Over the course of the past few troubled gears, spring had seemed to be the most positive time for the artist, who was always inspired by flowers and blossom. Here the lilac bush is delicately coloured with the whole painting having a cohesive green-blue scheme that makes it ultimately harmonious,