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Van Gogh belonged to both Dutch and French art, he is ranked among the post-Impressionists, and at the same time he remains an artist unlike anyone else. In Arles, where Van Gogh moved from Paris in 1888, among the bright colors of the south, he seemed to have found a second wind and painted one picture after another. Among them are several portraits Madame Ginou, the mistress of the station cafe, where the painter often sat with Gauguin who came to him. One day, friends persuaded a woman to pose for them in an Arlesian costume.
Van Gogh took over the love of dark blue and bright yellow from his compatriot, the Dutch artist Jan Vermeer and from the French painter Eugene Delacroix. The master especially appreciated their work. But if Vermeer's yellow, blue, olive green and red create a soft color scheme, then at Van Gogh they collide, causing the viewer a feeling of something alarming reigning in the picture. And Madame Gin's aloof look and posture underscore this excitement.