Vincent van Gogh started collecting Japanese prints in Antwerp in 1886. When he came to Paris that same year, he discovered the wonderful selection of Japanese prints at Siegfried Bing's Art Nouveau gallery. Van Gogh sold ukiyo-e prints on commission for Bing and encouraged his friends to come to the gallery to study Japanese art. In 1887, van Gogh and his brother Theo organized an exhibition of Japanese prints at the Café Volpini, which attracted considerable attention. Van Gogh was fascinated by both the stylistic conventions of Japanese art-especially the large areas of unmodulated color and daring compositions-and what he saw as its utopian ideals. He stated that all his work was founded on the example of the Japanese, and wrote in a letter to Theo:I envy the Japanese for the enormous clarity that pervades their work. It is never dull and never seems to have been made in haste. Their work is as simple as breathing and they draw a figure with a few well-chosen lines with the same ease, as effortless as buttoning up one's waistcoat.