Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, February-March 1887
oil on canvas,
46.3 cm x 33.2 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Van Gogh painted this café table with a view in highly thinned oil paint with thin brushes. This technique is called peinture à l’essence. The result looks something like a watercolour.
The glass holds absinthe, a popular aperitif. Its alcohol content was 60 to 70%, and it was often mixed with water. Van Gogh drank it frequently. Absinthe was very bad for one's health. Van Gogh drank alcohol to excess and then abruptly stopped. These facts may have played a role in his later periods of illness.