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  1. Image

Van Stolkweg 20

Van Gogh in

De Bock’s studio

  1. 23 Aug. 1881 1881
     - 25 Aug. 1881 1881
  2. 27 Nov. 1881 1881
     - 11 Se. 1883 1883

From 1877 to 1881, the artist Théophile de Bock (1851–1904) had a studio in Huize Rozenburg, which he rented with Tony Offermans (1854–1911) and Jozef Neuhuys (1841–1889). Vincent met De Bock in August 1881 while visiting Anton Mauve (1838–1888) and De Bock immediately made a good impression:

“I believe that he has a true painter’s temperament and that we haven’t heard the last of him yet.” Read the complete letter

After Vincent moved to The Hague in late 1881, the two men were regularly in contact and visited each other in their respective studios. By then, De Bock had a new studio in a tower at Villa Germania in Scheveningen, where other artists including Willem de Zwart (1862–1931) and Pieter de Josselin de Jong (1861–1906) worked as well. Vincent visited De Bock’s studio often, and, when he worked in Scheveningen, De Bock allowed him to store his painting supplies there. Although Vincent generally appreciated De Bock’s work, he was not always unreservedly enthusiastic when it came to his personality:

“Theo, Sunday I went to see De Bock again – I don’t know why, but each time I go to see him I feel the same: that chap’s too weak, he won’t succeed – unless he changes, unless – unless – I find something worn out, something blasé, something insincere about him that oppresses me, there’s something consumptive about the atmosphere in his house.” Read the complete letter

Evidently, these reservations did not get in the way of their friendship, however. In the summer of 1883, when Vincent was looking into the possibility of living and working near the sea, he asked De Bock for information:

“I talked to Bock about houses in Scheveningen, but I must stop saying the rent for my studio is high when I compare it with the costs that others have; for instance, the house where Blommers used to live is to let — the rent is 400 guilders and I pay 170 guilders a year. Moreover, the studio is no bigger than mine, and as for the suitability of the house I would stick to what I have now. De Bock himself pays the same as Blommers. And this is in line with what I heard last year about average rents. If it was a question of going to live by the sea, Scheveningen wouldn’t be possible and one would have to go further away, Hook of Holla1nd, say, or Marken.” Read the complete letter

In order to be able to work by the sea more often and more successfully, Vincent ultimately found the solution in a pied à terre: he was allowed to store his painting supplies in De Bock’s attic when he went to work in Scheveningen.

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Relevant letters from Vincent

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Continue reading

  1. Teun Berserik en Feico Hoekstra

    Vincent van Gogh: de vroege jaren (stripboek)
    Amsterdam, 2012
  2. F. Leeman en J. Sillevis

    De Haagse School en de jonge Van Gogh
    Zwolle, 2005
  3. In de voetsporen van Van Gogh

    Wandeling bij De Haagse School en de jonge Van Gogh
    Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, 2005
  4. Michiel van der Mast en Charles Dumas

    Van Gogh en Den Haag
    Zwolle, 1990
  5. Jan Meyers

    De jonge Vincent: jaren van vervoering en vernedering
    Amsterdam, 1989