View of Paris from Vincent’s Room in the Rue Lepic

View of Paris from Vincent’s Room in the Rue Lepic

"My dear Theo, I have to write to you one more time because the sooner we can take an outright decision the better. As regards a studio — if we could find, in one and the same house, a room with an alcove and also a garret or a corner attic — then you could have that apartment of room and alcove, and we could make it just as comfortable as possible. And during the day the room could serve as studio, and the garret could serve for various more unsightly tools or for dirty work, and I could also sleep there — and you in the studio alcove." Vincent in Antwerp writing to Theo in Paris, February 9, 1886
Details:
Painting Date
15th of April 1887
Detailed Image Links
Description:
“My dear Theo,
I have to write to you one more time because the sooner we can take an outright decision the better. As regards a studio — if we could find, in one and the same house, a room with an alcove and also a garret or a corner attic — then you could have that apartment of room and alcove, and we could make it just as comfortable as possible. And during the day the room could serve as studio, and the garret could serve for various more unsightly tools or for dirty work, and I could also sleep there — and you in the studio alcove.”
Vincent in Antwerp writing to Theo in Paris, February 9, 1886

Van Gogh moved in with his brother Theo to the flat in Montmartre at 54 Rue Lepic in June of 1886 after three months of sharing a cramped apartment at 25 Rue Victor Massé (formerly Rue Laval). Located above the city of Paris and on the prestigious 4th floor of the building, The Rue Lepic flat afforded the brothers a beautiful view of the Paris skyline, a view out the window which Vincent composed several times in the first weeks of moving in.  With herringbone wood floors, indoor plumbing and a gas burner on a table or kitchen, the brothers also had room for a small studio to work and display works in.  A dealer of art, Pontier, lived below them and the brothers from Nuenen laid plans on Rue Lepic to get to the top of the art world in Paris, Vincent with brush, palette and canvas and Theo with his discerning eye for the new art of the impressionists and an insightful dealer’s mind.  Vincent would be attending the well known Atelier Cormon school/studio at 104 Boulevard de Clichy in Paris and met Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Emile Bernard, Louis Anquetin and other post-impressionists in the thick of the vibrant Paris art scene of the late 1880’s.  Unfortunately, Vincent is again shunned by his young classmates and ridiculed surreptitiously for his fiery passion when arguing a point. His dutch-accented version of the french language did not help matters and he possessed generally weaker drafting and drawing skills than his gifted compatriots.  After three months of struggle, with much time spent away from fellow students drawing renditions of plaster casts in off hours at the studio, Vincent left Cormon.  This painting was executed about 9 months after his departure from the Atelier Cormon.

Two of Vincent’s Paris vista paintings were made in the Spring of 1887, after about a year in the apartment/studio with this work having more greens and yellows, oranges and reds than anything Vincent produced 6 months or more earlier in his evolution.  He uses short, gently impressionist strokes of blue, white and yellow for a sky and pointillist influenced strokes for building walls and portions of rooftops.  The crowns of the rooftops are in diagonal teals and short vertical strokes for chimneys and tiles on the peaks.  Greens and yellows are used in the left lower portion of the painting and again in the building at immediate right as we look off into the distance and the cathedral of violet blue.

The related imagery include a sketch from and second painting, both made from a similar but slightly different perspective.  The second painting “View of Paris from Vincent’s Room” is created with more blues as Vincent experiments with the use of his broadened color palette as influenced by the impressionists.  Toggling back and forth between these show how Vincent can select his colors and perspective in painting the same scene and come with a cooler or warmer effect as a result of his color selection and the changed perspective.

 

Painting, Oil on Canvas
Paris: Spring, 1887
Van Gogh Museum
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe
F: 341, JH: 1242

Where Vincent Was:
Paris

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