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Entrepotkaai 1

Most of the dock’s old buildings were demolished in 1990.

Van Gogh in


  1. 28 Nov. 1885 1885

When Vincent arrived in Antwerp, he had to temporarily deposit his possessions at the royal customs house. He was able to retrieve them after a few days. The docks and quays would remain one of Vincent’s favourite areas of the city to walk in. He wrote enthusiastically to his brother:

“Well, these docks are one huge Japonaiserie, fantastic, singular, strange — at least, one can see them like that. I’d like to walk with you there to find out whether we look at things the same way. One could do anything there, townscapes — figures of the most diverse character — the ships as the central subject with water and sky in delicate grey — but above all — Japonaiseries. I mean, the figures there are always in motion, one sees them in the most peculiar settings, everything fantastic, and interesting contrasts keep appearing of their own accord. A white horse in the mud, in a corner where heaps of merchandise lie covered with a tarpaulin — against the old, black, smoke-stained walls of the warehouse. Quite simple — but a Black and White effect.’’ Read the complete letter

Especially after taking long walks to farm villages on the sandy moorland, Vincent found the sight of the docks to offer an “interesting contrast”.

Relevant letters from Vincent

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