The writers Félix Fénéon (1861–1944) and Edouard Dujardin (1861–1949) regularly staged small art exhibitions in the offices of the political, literary and artistic journal La Revue Indépendante at 11 Chaussée d’Antin. Vincent probably went to one in December 1887 featuring work by Louis Anquetin, Camille Pissarro and Georges Seurat.
In September 1888, when Vincent was living in Arles, his brother Theo suggested he exhibit his work at La Revue Indépendante, and Vincent was open to the idea. But when Dujardin invited him to do so two months later, Vincent changed his mind and said he did not care to take part in a show in that “hole”. He was probably influenced by Paul Gauguin, who had declined a similar invitation. Vincent found it particularly unacceptable that he would be expected to donate a painting to help defray the costs of the show. He wrote to Theo: