Van Gogh in Cathedral
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Groenplaats 21, Antwerpen

The cathedral still exists and is open to the public.

Van Gogh in


  1. 10 Jan. 1886 1886

Vincent visited Antwerp’s Cathedral of Our Lady to admire more paintings by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), a few of whose works he had seen at the Musée Ancien. Four of Rubens’s religious paintings hung in the cathedral; Vincent mentioned two triptychs, The Raising of the Cross (1609–1610) and The Descent from the Cross (1612), in his letters. He admired Rubens’s exceptional skill at expressing human sorrow and praised him for painting beautiful everyday women.

Made here

The tower of the Cathedral of Our Lady, 1885

The tower of the Cathedral of Our Lady, 1885

Crayon on paper, 29,9 x 22,6 cm

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

The Grote Markt, 1885

The Grote Markt, 1885

Crayon and watercolour on paper, 22,6 x 30,1 cm

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Van Gogh Stichting)

    Seen here

    Peter Paul Rubens, The descent of the cross, 1611

    Peter Paul Rubens, The descent of the cross, 1611

    Oil on panel, 420 x 320 cm

    Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp

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      Relevant letters from Vincent

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      Continue reading

      1. Guido Persoons

        Vincent van Gogh te Antwerpen in 1885-1886 : zijn opleiding in de Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten te Antwerpen als bijdrage tot de vorming van zijn kunstenaarschap
        In: Periscoop, Vriendenkring van de Koninklijke Academie, 14-1 (1990)
      2. Mark Tralbaut

        Van Gogh te Antwerpen
        Antwerpen, 1958
      3. Louis van Tilborg en Ella Hendriks

        Vincent van Gogh schilderijen, deel 2: Antwerpen en Parijs
        Amsterdam, 2011
      4. Ella Hendriks en Louis van Tilborgh

        New views on Van Gogh’s development in Antwerp and Paris: an integrated art historical and technical study of his paintings in the Van Gogh Museum
        Universiteit van Amsterdam, proefschrift, 2006
      5. Marije Vellekoop, Sjraar van Heugten

        Vincent van Gogh tekeningen, deel 3: Antwerpen en Parijs 1885 – 1888
        Amsterdam, 2001