By 1886 Impressionism had all but faded out as a coherent or clearly discernible movement, replaced by a series of new trends in painting. However, it continued to evert a significant influence on the next generation of artists, most notably a group whose very name indicated their debt to the old school. The "Neo-Impressionists", or "Pointillists"' took some of Impressionism's theories to their logical scientific conclusions. "Points" is Freanch for dots, and these were exactly what the new style consisted of-applied by its strictest adherents in a painstakingly slow and precise manner over the entire canvas. Furthermore, colors were used only in accordance with the latest chromatic theories, all of which resulted in an effect that was more classical than Impressiontic.
However, such a technique was not really suited to Van Gogh's volatile temperament, and so "Restaurant de la Sirene", whilst doubtless influenced by Neo-Impressionism, is far rougher and more energetic than a painting by, say, Pissarro. It is as if Van Gogh is working through a style before reaching his own distinctive and original language. Already, for example, we can see the more patterned, almost decorative, brushwork that was to become a regular feature of his more mature works. The subject matter also points forward, away from his dour Dutch beginnings and towards a bright French future.