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discover the places where Vincent lived and worked
 

Van Gogh in Paris, France

  • 12 May 1873 - 18 May 1873
  • 26 Oct 1874 - 25 Dec 1874
  • 14 May 1875 - 31 Mar 1876
  • 28 Feb 1886 - 19 Feb 1888
  • 17 May 1890 - 19 May 1890
  • 6 Jul 1890

Vincent paid his first visit to Paris in May 1873. He spent a few days in the city, visiting museums and the headquarters of his employers, the international art dealers Goupil & Cie. He then left for England to work in the firm’s London branch. In the autumn of 1874, Goupil transferred him from London to Paris for two months.

A permanent transfer followed in May 1875. Vincent worked at the Goupil & Cie’s headquarters every weekday and lived in a small rented room at an unknown address in Montmartre. He became friends with the Englishman Harry Gladwell, who lived in the same apartment. Vincent had become increasingly fanatical about religion, and he read the Bible aloud to Gladwell and roamed from church to church on Sundays, attending services across Paris from early morning until evening. He and Gladwell also went to museums every week, visiting places such as the Louvre and Musée du Luxembourg. It was in Paris that Vincent's career in the art trade came to an end. Goupil dismissed him on 1 April 1876, officially because of an unannounced absence during the Christmas rush, but his none-too-friendly attitude toward clients must have also played a part.

Ten years later, after his travels had taken him to Ramsgate, Isleworth, Dordrecht, Amsterdam, Brussels, Drenthe, Nuenen and Antwerp, Vincent returned to Paris. By then, he had developed as an artist and sought to perfect his life drawing skills in the studio of artist Fernand Cormon. This time, Vincent lived with his brother Theo, a manager at Boussod, Valadon & Cie (the successor to Goupil & Cie). In Paris, Vincent acquainted himself with the work of the Impressionists, struck up friendships with artists such as John Peter Russell, Émile Bernard, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Signac, organised exhibitions, advocated for the establishment of an artists’ association and began forming an art collection with his brother. His work changed significantly during this time; he began using lighter, brighter colours and experimenting with different painting techniques. Vincent enjoyed Paris at first, but he found urban life stressful, and after two years, he abandoned the city for sunny Arles in the south of France.

Existing, accessible
Existing, not accessible
No longer existing

Locations in
Paris

literature

Nienke Bakker
Van Gogh et Montmartre
Bruxelles, 2011

Françoise Cachin and Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov
Van Gogh à Paris
Parijs, 1988

Ella Hendriks and Louis van Tilborgh
Vincent van Gogh schilderijen, deel 2: Antwerpen en Parijs
Amsterdam, 2011

 
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