Paris, June - September 1887 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
pencil, pen and ink, watercolour, on paper,
24.1 cm x 31.6 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
In the summer of 1887, Van Gogh made four watercolour drawings of the city walls around Paris. This is most likely the Porte de Clichy – one of 25 gates leading into the French capital.
The lively cityscape is filled with little figures and details like the horse-drawn tram. Van Gogh drew inspiration for this drawing from the crowded street scenes in Japanese prints. The bright colours of those prints also stimulated his creativity.
This cityscape is one of the few drawings he made in Paris. He mostly worked in oil paint on canvas during his time there and developed a brighter, more modern colour palette. Colour and brightness also play a central role in this watercolour drawing.