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Lane at the Jardin du Luxembourg

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Oil on canvas
27.5 x 46.0 cm.
Paris: June-July, 1886
F 223, JH 1111

Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute


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Vincent van Gogh's Lane at the Jardin du Luxembourg was painted shortly after the artist moved to Paris in March, 1886. Van Gogh's first months in Paris were significant given his exposure to drastically new approaches to art. Van Gogh would meet, among others, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Van Gogh would also be greatly influenced by two pivotal exhibitions he saw shortly before painting the Jardin du Luxembourg work. On 15 May 1886 Van Gogh attended the eighth and final impressionist exhibition which included works by Edgar Degas, Armand Guillaumin and Camille Pissarro. Then in June he visited the fifth "Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture" where he saw works by Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet.

One of the best ways to gain insights into Van Gogh's development as an artist is through his letters, particularly those letters to his brother Theo. Van Gogh's correspondence often delves into his aspirations in terms of his work, at times focusing on the execution of specific paintings. It's ironic that Van Gogh's Paris period is arguably the most important in terms of his evolving skills as an artist, but Van Gogh's letters (and, correspondingly, our understanding of his thoughts and aspirations) dwindled to all but a trickle during this time. Vincent was living with Theo in Paris and, as a result, there was no need for an exchange of letters. We're left to draw our own conclusions as to Van Gogh's emerging style--from the muted and somber browns and grays of the chilly Brabant countryside to the vibrant colours of his awakening palette.

While in Paris Van Gogh envisioned a type of artists' collective in which various painters would support each other and share in the profits from sales. Van Gogh coined the term "Petit Boulevard" for this collective, an idea that he would continue with his ill-fated "Studio of the South" initiative with Paul Gauguin in the south of France. While neither of these well intentioned concepts ever properly came to fruition, there's no denying that the influence of the artists surrounding him would have a profound effect on Van Gogh's style. This is clearly seen in the light and colourful composition of Lane at the Jardin du Luxembourg.

The Luxembourg Garden Today

The Luxembourg Garden was established in 1612 by Marie de Medici, consort of King Henry IV. The area encompasses 25 hectares and boasts both French and English style gardens as well as fountains and Luxembourg Palace, today the home of the French senate. Luxembourg Garden is a popular destination for visitors who come to picnic, play chess and explore the extensive grounds.


  • Vincent van Gogh and the Painters of the Petit Boulevard. Cornelia Homburg (Rizolli, 2001)
  • Wikipedia


Owner City Country
Johanna van Gogh-Bonger Amsterdam Netherlands
G. Tanner Art Gallery Zurich Switzerland
N. Eisenloeffel Art Gallery Amsterdam Netherlands
Leicester Galleries London United Kingdom
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Williamstown, Mass. United States


Year City Country Venue Exhibition Name Start Date End Date No.
1905 Amsterdam Netherlands Stedelijk Museum Tentoonstelling Vincent van Gogh 15 July 1905 1 August 1905 447
1908 Frankfurt Germany Frankfurter Kunstverein Vincent van Gogh Ausstellung 14 June 1908 28 June 1908 27
1908 Munich (1) Germany Moderne Kunsthandlung [F.J. Brakl] Vincent van Gogh  
1908 Zurich Switzerland Künstlerhaus Vincent van Gogh, Cuno Amiet, Hans Emmenegger, Giovanni Giacometti 10 July 1908 26 July 1908 19
1939 New York (1) United States Durand-Ruel Galleries Small Masterpieces of late 19th Century French Art 2 December 1939 31 December 1939 5
1988 Paris (1) France Musée d'Orsay Van Gogh ŕ Paris 2 February 1988 15 May 1988  
2005-06 Brescia Italy Museo di Santa Giulia Gauguin-Van Gogh: The Adventure of the New Color 22 October 2005 26 March 2006 69
2008 Vienna Austria Albertina Vincent van Gogh: "Drawn" Pictures 5 September 2008 7 December 2008 138
2012-13 Denver United States Denver Art Museum Becoming Van Gogh 21 October 2012 20 January 2013
2015 Williamstown United States Clark Art Institute Van Gogh and Nature 14 June 2015 13 September 2015  

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