While in France, Nicolae Grigorescu spent long periods of time in Vitré, “a small medieval town in Brittany, where the narrow streets are stranded between old buildings with sharp, hood-like roofs, while the people themselves are stranded in their ancient, patriarchal traditions” – as the famous art collector Zambaccian describes it. The picturesque town fascinated Grigorescu who thus became the first Romanian painter to have immortalized it. And on canvas, this fascination was translated into a series of masterpieces. The brushstrokes transformed the landscape which became a visual equivalent of the sight which stirred up the painter’s deepest, most sincere emotions. He painted everything: streets, houses, people, villages, towns, nature; what seems difficult to render on canvas – the specific features of the places – came with ease, flowed naturally, under his touch. Street in Vitré and Houses at Vitré (ca. 1879-1886) show the artist’s preoccupation to exploit the values of light and air, to capture and render them in such a manner that the objects, in a variety of hues of grey, interpose the eyes of the viewer.