Van Gogh in
Bagijnestraat still exists, but the building where Johannes Hillen lived does not.
Van Gogh in
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).
Relevant letters from Vincent
No relevant letters found so far.
Teun Berserik en Feico Hoekstra
F. Leeman en J. Sillevis
In de voetsporen van Van Gogh
Michiel van der Mast en Charles Dumas