Vincent Van Gogh painted three portraits of his friend and art supplies shop owner, Père Tanguy, while he lived in Montmartre. The paintings showcase a progression in Van Gogh’s style after his arrival in Paris. The last portrait reveals an evolving style that includes a brighter palette and a serene portrayal of Tanguy, demonstrating the Neo-Impressionist technique which emphasizes visible brushwork, flat picture space, and contrasting complementary colors.
Not only was Tanguy’s shop a source for artists’ supplies, but it also served as a popular location for creatives to gather and debate their artistic ideas. This created an atmosphere rich with discussion and conversation about art that would have had an influence on Van Gogh’s own techniques.
One of these paintings is now part of the permanent collection at the Rodin Museum in Paris where it is not for sale. Nevertheless, they are significant works as they demonstrate Van Gogh’s development during his time in Paris while also showcasing the importance of gathering places like Tanguy’s store to support artist communities.