Vincent van Gogh painted Le Père Tanguy in 1887. Julien Tanguy, known as "Père" or "Papa," sold artists' materials, and Vincent frequented the shop to purchase paint and to visit the informal gallery housed in the back rooms.
Tanguy displayed the work of innovators such as Georges Seurat and Paul Cézanne. He also sold Japanese prints. Van Gogh began collecting works of the ukiyo-e masters in Antwerp, and in honor of their shared interest, he painted Tanguy's portrait in front of a selection of famous prints.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American painting, including Publication International, Ltd.'s, Monet and Impressionism. Other titles include Sunflowers, Monet's Garden in Art, Van Gogh: Fields and Flowers, and Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives. Ms. Mancoff is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.