Vincent van Gogh painted The De Ruijterkade in Amsterdam in 1885. The painting is among the first van Gogh created upon his move to Antwerp, Belgium, in November, 1885.
With only a small allowance from his brother Theo, he lived frugally, hoping to convince the local art dealers to sell his work from Nuenen, Netherlands. He made regular visits to the many art galleries and museums in Antwerp to study the works of Peter Paul Rubens and Franz Hals. But he found his subjects at the docks, where he set up his easel to paint the sea and the ships at various times of the day.
As van Gogh continued to pursue his studies, his confidence with complex subjects grew, as shown in Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette. Learn about this painting in the next section.