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View from Theo's apartment

Van Gogh made this painting using a perspective frame, a tool that helps artists depict proportions and depth accurately. He placed it on his empty canvas and copied the frame and the wires that were stretched across it. He then placed the frame between himself and the view he wanted to capture. He looked at the subject through the frame, the wires of which divided it into sections. Then he copied the image, one section at a time.

Van Gogh illustrated the use of the frame in sketches he included in his letters. He said it was 'like looking through a window'.

Letter sketch from 5-6 August, 1882, showing Van Gogh's perspective frame.

From Nuenen sketch book, two sketches of the perspective frame.

Letter sketch from 5 August 1882, sketch of artist working with a perspective frame.

'I suggest it would be very good if you also gave it a try with a perspective frame. For there's nothing like it for teaching one to look and teaching one to feel perspective.'

Vincent van Gogh, 16 July 1885