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Van Gogh in

Etten-Leur

  1. 30 Apr. 1881
     - 27 Nov. 1881

Vincent’s parents lived in Etten-Leur from 1875 to 1882. Vincent often spent holidays with them and lived at their house for seven months in 1881.

In October 1875, the Van Gogh family moved from Zundert to Etten-Leur after Mr Van Gogh took up a position as the local parson. Vincent was living abroad at the time and Etten was the home base where he rejoined the family, mainly during holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

In addition, it was his base of operations when he was ‘in between jobs’ and updating his future plans. In 1877, for instance, he stayed in Etten-Leur after being fired from Goupil & Cie in Paris and prior to leaving for Ramsgate. Six months later, after returning from Isleworth, he stayed with them again before moving to Dordrecht. And years later, in 1880, after living under harsh conditions in the Borinage, a Belgian mining region, he came back to Etten-Leur to unwind and recharge.

The summer of 1881 was by far the most significant period that Vincent spent in the village. A beginning artist by then, he worked with local models and often went into the surrounding countryside to draw. His friend Anthon van Rappard came to visit and they worked together. Vincent’s cousin Kee Vos also stayed with the family that summer and Vincent fell passionately in love with her. His feelings for Kee were so strong that he proposed a marriage. Her reply – “No, nay, never” – did not faze Vincent. Despite both families’ strong oppositions, he persisted in trying to win Kee’s heart but he never succeeded.

The incident, along with many others, severely strained family relations. And, after an argument with his father at Christmastime, Vincent angrily left Etten-Leur for The Hague. He would never return to Etten. In early August of 1882, the Van Gogh family moved to Nuenen, where Mr Van Gogh had been appointed parson.

Locations in Etten-Leur

Existing, accessible

Existing, inaccessible

Disappeared

Made here

Garden corner, 1881

Garden corner, 1881

Mixed technique on paper

Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

Digger, 1881

Digger, 1881

Mixed technique on paper

Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

Digger, 1881

Digger, 1881

Mixed technique on paper

Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

Edge of a wood, 1881

Edge of a wood, 1881

Mixed technique on paper, 41,6 x 54,8 cm

Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

Swamp, 1881

Swamp, 1881

Pen and pencil on paper, 42,5 x 56,5 cm

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Swamp with waterlilies, 1881

Swamp with waterlilies, 1881

Mixed technique on paper, 23,5 x 31 cm

Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, collectie van Mr. en Mvr. Paul Mellon

Road in Etten, 1881

Road in Etten, 1881

Mixed technique on paper, 39,4 x 57,8 cm

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Road with a man and pollard willows, 1881

Road with a man and pollard willows, 1881

Letter sketch

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

Boy cutting grass with a sickle, 1881

Boy cutting grass with a sickle, 1881

Mixed technique on paper, 46,6 x 60,4 cm

Kröller-Müller Museum Otterlo

    Relevant letters from Vincent

    1. No relevant letters found so far.

    Continue reading

    1. J.A. Rozemeyer

      Van Gogh in Etten
      Etten-­Leur, 2003
    2. Evert van Uitert

      Van Gogh in Brabant: schilderijen en tekeningen uit Etten en Nuenen
      Zwolle, 1987