If we compare the drawings from Van Gogh’s early period to his later work, we can see what tremendous progress he made. “I keep on making what I can’t do yet in order to learn to be able to do it,” he wrote in 1885. [letter 528] For several months, Van Gogh received instruction from his cousin by marriage, the painter Anton Mauve, and at the art academies in Brussels and Antwerp. But it was mainly due to his perseverance and his critical attitude towards his own work that he was able to develop into an original artist. Vincent had an exceptional feeling for powerful colour effects and simple, compelling compositions.