Van Gogh in
The Weeskinderendijk still exists, but the windmills that were there in Vincent’s time have disappeared over the years.
Van Gogh in
In 1877, on his way home to Etten from The Hague, Vincent stopped in Dordrecht. He had seen a row of windmills from the train and wanted to draw them. He braved the rainy Weeskinderendijk and sketched the mill-dotted landscape around the dyke. In his own words,
“at least I’ve brought home a souvenir from my outing.” Read the complete letter
He later further developed the drawing into a watercolour in Etten. Windmills at Dordrecht is now kept in the collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum. The two mills at the right of the drawing are Vincent’s imaginary inventions; there were no mills in that spot at the time.
When Vincent moved to Dordrecht in 1877 he remembered the Weeskinderendijk and walked along the dyke from time to time. In February of 1881, he wrote to his brother Theo:
“but last Sunday when I was walking alone on that dyke, I thought how good that Dutch soil was, and I felt something akin to ‘today it is in mine heart to make a covenant with my God.” Read the complete letter
Walking along the dyke, he would recall how he had walked with his brother and father in Zundert.
Herinneringen van C. Görlitz