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Bagijnestraat 31

Bagijnestraat still exists, but the building where Johannes Hillen lived does not.

Van Gogh in

Johannes Hillen

  1. 30 Jul. 1869 1869
     - 10 May 1873

Vincent’s letter of 8 July 1876 to his brother Theo – then staying in The Hague – indicates that he took catechism lessons from Johannes Hillen in the city at some point between 1869 and 1873:

“Now I have a request to make of you. Back then in The Hague I went to a catechist, Hillen, who was living in Bagijnestraat at the time. He took great pains over me and, although I didn’t show it, what he said made an impression on me, and I have a mind to write a word or two to him, perhaps it would give him pleasure. Go and find him if you have the time and can discover his address, and tell him that I’ve become a schoolmaster and, who knows, may later find some kind of situation connected with the church. He’s a very modest man, one who has struggled a lot, I believe; sometimes when I went to see him and took a look at him I couldn’t help thinking that the end of that man will be peace. And give him the enclosed drawing for me.’’ Read the complete letter

Evidently, Vincent was fond of Hillen, and even gave him a drawing as a gift (it is not known which one).

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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