Van Gogh had seen the work of neo-impressionists like Seurat and Signac, but his own unique temperament asserted itself as he absorbed their notions of color. He used dynamic dabs of pure colour, loosely applied throughout the canvas.
Down the road, at nr. 104 was the studio of Fernand Cormon, where Vincent took lessons and he met Émile Bernard and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. Vincent called this avant-garde group of artists ‘The painters of the Petit Boulevard’ in order to contrast them with the more established impressionists like Monet, who had their dealers at the ‘Grand Boulevard’.
"Trying to render intense COLOUR and not a grey harmony. So as we said at the time in COLOUR seeking life, the true drawing is modelling with colour." - Vincent van Gogh to Horace Mann Livens. Paris, September or October 1886.