This drawing is one of the few Van Gogh made while he was staying in Paris. During that time Van Gogh was concentrating on painting and there are only a few highlights to be found among the drawings done in Paris.
After doing the townscapes, he made only a few more drawings. There is a small, but successful, severe-looking self-portrait; apart from this, the studies that are known are usually modest, sometimes experimental, and generally very sketchy. Van Gogh was well aware that his artistic prospects had dramatically improved in Paris. He was full of confidence when he moved to Arles, a town in Provence, in February 1888, and it was there that his draughtsmanship was to achieve greatness.