Van Gogh in Paris in 1886-88
In Paris, you are first attracted by Montmartre and its windmills
From your window, you look over Pariss rooftops.
To enlighten your palette, you will spend all summer copying
Monticellis bunches of flowers
You achieve some portraits
And more than twenty autoportraits
At the Cormon workshop, you made plasterwork studies
Your works are exhibited at Tanguys, the merchant of colours, of whom you will make the portrait
With Signac, in the Summer 1887, you paint the Seine banks
You will also make copies of Japanese engravings.
Just before you leave for Arles, you paint those first sunflowers
You decided to go to Anvers for the Museums You needed to see paintings and to develop in the workshops
You discovered Japanese engravings and they astound you,
You like painting portraits of common people,
In La Haye, you work like hell and improve a lot
You master perspective thanks to a frame (made after a drawing by Dürer).
You make all kinds of technical attempts, with chalk, lithograph ink
When you leave La Haye to seek shelter in the Drenthe, you have really improved your method
I draw as I write, fluently
But life in Drenthe is too hard Once more, you have to seek shelter at your parents home, in Nuenen
You paint a peasants graveyard, the family house and birds nests that you collect.
Then the weavers will attract you
Before leaving Nuenen, you set to realize a great composition
The Potato Eaters for which you made dozens of studies about hands, faces, position Your first masterpiece...
You left the Borinage for Brussels where
you wanted to take drawing and perspective lessons
Just like Millet again, your favourite painter
And you draw peasants, Brabant types
In Etten, you try drawing landscapes, characters, fields sceneries
It was in La Haye that your cousin Mauve, a well-known painter, gave you your first palette, He helped you to achieve your first watercolours
But Mauve would turn you down a few weeks later
You resumed drawing, and tried great compositions
You draw Sien a lot, your new girlfriend
You would be proud of Sorrow, of which you would draw your first lithography
It was actually in the Borinage, in the
depths of that black country, where misery was at the highest
the peak of your distress
that you decided to give up religion to devote
yourself to drawing, and painting
To become a painter at last
/ Back to England, Vincent works in a Dordrecht bookstore, he draws mills.
Dordrecht April 1877 / Then he draws this scene from the Bible when Abraham begs for a sepulchre to bury Sarah.
Amsterdam May 1877 / Laecken November 1878 / Concerned about his coming departure for the Borinage, he draws that warehouse of coals. When he arrives in the Borinage, he draws miners huts...
Cuesmes July 1879 / He is fascinated by the mining country... He draws night and day... And wont ever stop drawing...