The Flowering Orchard, 1888
In the autumn of 1880 Vincent van Gogh decided he wanted to become an artist. He was now 27 years old. With books such as Armand-Théophile Cassagne's “Guide de l'alphabet du dessin” (1880) he helped himself over the initial difficulties such as perspective. Like Millet's drawings, he used Charles Bargue's “Exercices au fusain” to draw from them or copy them. Only a few sheets of these first drawings have survived; van Gogh himself said he had destroyed them. The material obtained shows his arduous attempts to capture objects and people using the outline.