Vase with Gladioli, 1886 by Vincent Van Gogh

Although Van Gogh had a wider experience than most of different paintings through his work and travels with the art dealership Goupil et Cie, his early work had been almost solely influenced by Dutch paintings and the French Realists, However, in Paris he came into contact with, was submerged almost, in the work of the Impressionists Claude Monet, Manet and the Post-Impressionists Paul Cezanne, and Paul Gauguin.

1886 was the year of the last Impressionist exhibition, although many of the original Impressionists had withdrawn due to the inclusion of works by the Pointillist artists Georges Seurat (1859-91) and Paul Signoc (1863-1935), Also on exhibition were the mysterious works of the Symbolist artist Odilon Redon (1840-1916), a series of studies of women by Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and some of Paul Gauguin's works.

For the provincial Dutchman Paris was an artistic eye-opener, and Van Gogh quickly absorbed elements of this sea of avant-garde art into his style. Here his work can be seen to have taken on some of the Impressionist techniques, with swift brushstrokes and strong complementary colours, and at this early point he identified himself most with the Impressionists.