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Avenue of Pollard Birches and Poplars

A work made of reed pen and iron-gall ink on tan laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of reed pen and iron-gall ink on tan laid paper.


March 1884


Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853–1890

About this artwork

Vincent van Gogh seems to have been inspired to make this melancholy drawing after reading the poem “Tristement” (sadly) by the French writer François Coppee, who was known as the “poet of the humble.” The poem describes a mourning widow proceeding along “a very long lane of giant, halfdenuded plane trees.”

Time has enhanced the drawing’s autumnal mood. The iron-gall ink that Van Gogh used, once black, has altered to a dark brown and imparted a golden tone to the paper, the pen lines bleeding so that close hatchings merge and the contrast between light and dark is now muted.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Vincent van Gogh


Avenue of Pollard Birches and Poplars


Netherlands (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1884


Reed pen and iron-gall ink on tan laid paper


Inscribed verso, lower left, in graphite: "Vincent / Van Gogh"


19.2 × 26.5 cm (7 9/16 × 10 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray

Reference Number


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