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rue de L’activité / Werkzaamheidstraat 24

The building where the Geerlings lived no longer exists.

Van Gogh in

Family Geerling

When Vincent took a trip to Brussels in 1878 with his father and the Rev Slade-Jones to look into studying to become a preacher, they lodged with the Geerling family. Otto Geerling was an architect who frequently did evangelical work, through which he had met Mr Van Gogh.

More than a year later, Vincent returned to Brussels on foot from the Belgian village of Cuesmes, and he called on the Geerling family. Vincent had been living among the miners of the Borinage region and had neglected himself severly. According to accounts, when he showed up at the Geerlings’ house, he looked so ill, unhealthy and unkempt that one of the daughters fainted when she opened the door. Mr Geerling, however, recognised Vincent, heartily welcomed him and offered him food. In thanks, Vincent drew some sketches and gave them to the daughters but they were so disgusted by his appearance that they threw the gifts straight into the household fire.

Relevant letters from Vincent

  1. No relevant letters found so far.

Continue reading

  1. Paul Fagel

    Van Gogh in Brussel
    In: Nederlandse Vereniging te Brussel. Jubileum 1906-1966
  2. W. Lutjeharms

    De Vlaamse opleidingsschool van Nicolaas de Jonge en zijn opvolgers (1875-1926)
    Brussel 1978
  3. Bart Moens

    De kunstenaarsopleiding van Vincent van Gogh in Brussel
    Brussel 2012 (ongepubliceerde scriptie, in te zien in de bibliotheek van het Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)
  4. Sjraar van Heugten (red.)

    Van Gogh in de Borinage: de geboorte van een kunstenaar
    Brussel, 2015