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314 Brixton Road

It is unknown whether the current building at 314 Brixton Road is the one that housed the Obach family. If you have more information about its current status, please let us know using the comments form at the bottom of this page.

Van Gogh in

Familie Obach

  1. 18 Jun 1876 1876

At the art dealers Goupil & Cie in London, Vincent van Gogh had a good relationship with his boss, Charles Obach (1840/41–?). They took a trip to Box Hill together. After Vincent left Goupil in 1876 and began applying for other jobs, he needed a reference, and Obach provided one. Vincent stayed in touch with his former boss, as is evident from the visits he paid to Obach while living in Isleworth. Obach lived with his wife and two daughters at 314 Brixton Road, near the Loyers’ pension, where Vincent had been a lodger.

Despite his good relationship with Obach, Vincent later criticised him when he was in The Hague in 1882:

“Do you know what I think of the folder I’m sending you? It’s just like the way of talking that, for example, Obach, the manager of G&C. in London, goes in for. And that is successful — yes, that is successful, yes, it’s listened to and it’s accepted. […] I have respect for working, I despise neither Obach nor Mesdag, but there are things that I rate infinitely higher than that sort of energy. I would like something more succinct, something simpler, something sounder; I would like more soul and more love and more heart.” Read the complete letter

After working for Goupil, Obach opened his own gallery at 20 Cockspur Street in London in 1884.

Relevant letters from Vincent

Continue reading

  1. Martin Bailey

    Young Vincent: the story of Van Gogh's years in England
    London, 1990
  2. Kristine Groenhart en Willem-Jan Verlinden

    Hoe ik van Londen houd: wandelen door het Londen van Vincent van Gogh
    Amsterdam, 2013
  3. Jan Meyers

    De jonge Vincent: jaren van vervoering en vernedering
    Amsterdam, 1989
  4. Ronald Pickvance

    English influences on Vincent van Gogh
    London, 1974