When Gauguin and Van Gogh met in Paris in the autumn of 1886 the two men were greatly struck with each other. In the course of February 1888 Van Gogh left rather hastily for Arles, while Gauguin went to Pont-Aven or the summer. It was now that he painted this wonderful "Vision after the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel"in his new technique (to which he gave the names of Cloisonnism and Synthesism). He asked Van Gogh to come to Brittany, while Van Gogh urged him to move to Arles and to join him in founding a "Studio of the South." The little portraits adorning this correspondence are touching evidence of their liking for each other at this time.
Finally Gauguin, always ready for new adventures, packed up and came to Arles on October 20. Somehow they succeeded in living together for two months, though their differences of temperament showed from the start, and the tension between them rose rapidly. On Christmas Day Van Gogh in a fit of madness cut off his own ear; and Gauguin beat a hurried retreat to Paris. But even so there had been time enough for Van Gogh, vastly impressed by Gauguin's intellectual attainments, to modify his style. He painted L'Arlésienne after a drawing by Gauguin, and under his influence began the sequence of five pictures known as La Berceuse which, while showing traces of the admiration both men had for Japanese prints, have the same decorative rhythm and symbolic harmony as The Vision.
The Importance of Gauguin and Van Gogh