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Hendrick Hamelstraat 8-22

Schenkweg 136

Schenkweg 136 werd in 1884 Schenkstraat 13. Van de oorspronkelijke bebouwing en het oorspronkelijke stratenplan aan de Schenkweg is zowel als gevolg van een bombardement in de Tweede Wereldoorlog als van stadsvernieuwing in de jaren zeventig en tachtig niets meer over. De huidige Hendrick Hamelstraat 8-22 bevindt zich op de plek waar ooit Schenkweg 136-138 moet zijn geweest.

Van Gogh in

Schenkweg 136

  1. 4 Jul. 1882 1882
     - 11 Sep. 1883 1883

After arriving in The Hague in late 1881 after an argument with his father, Vincent found a studio at Schenkweg 138 within a week. The building was soon too small for him, however, because he had become involved with the pregnant prostitute Clasina Maria “Sien” Hoornik (1850–1904) and the couple decided to live together. The apartment was also run-down. Vincent therefore made plans to move to the adjacent building at Schenkweg 136.

On 1 May 1882, he wrote to his brother Theo:

“The studio is larger than mine, the light very good. There’s an attic, completely panelled over, so that one doesn’t see the roof tiles. Extremely large, where one can partition off as many rooms as one likes (and I have the planks to do it). Rent 12.50 guilders a month, a strong, well-built house, but it won’t bring in any more, because it’s ‘only in Schenkweg’ and the rich people the owner had hoped for won’t come here. I’d like it very much, and the owner would like to have me rent it; he spoke to me about it first and then I went to see it.’’ Read the complete letter

As a beginning artist, Vincent depended financially on his brother, and he needed Theo’s approval to rent the apartment next door, which cost 5.50 guilders more per month than the one at number 138. Vincent saw the new studio’s availability as a fortunate opportunity, and he pressed his brother for a reply:

“The house I wrote to you about is now to let and I’m afraid it will be gone if I don’t act quickly. All the more reason why I’m looking forward to your letter.” Read the complete letter

Theo increased his monthly payments to Vincent to 150 francs (about 75 guilders). In July, Vincent, who had just come out of hospital, managed to move all of his possessions with his new landlord’s help and he was able to take a satisfied look around his new home:

“The studio looks so authentic, it seems to me: plain, grey-brown wallpaper, scrubbed floorboards, muslin fixed to laths in front of the windows, everything bright. And of course the studies on the wall, an easel on each side, and a big pine-wood work-table. Adjoining the studio is a sort of alcove where the drawing boards, portfolios, boxes, sticks, &c. are, and also where all the prints lie. And in the corner a cupboard with all the little pots and bottles, and also all my books. Then the little living room with a table, some kitchen chairs, a paraffin stove, a big wicker armchair for the woman in the little corner by the window overlooking the yard and meadows familiar to you from the drawing, and next to it a small iron cradle with a green coverlet.” Read the complete letter

In spite of his brother’s monthly payments, it is likely that Vincent occasionally still paid his rent with a drawing, having run out of money.

Work in the studio went well. Vincent drew life studies, views from the window, city scenes and larger, more detailed works. His most willing model was his girlfriend, Sien, who always had the patience to sit for Vincent and was able to handle his cross moods. The studio’s only drawback was that Vincent had difficulty controlling the light. This caused him particular trouble when drawing from life. People who had looked fine in an alleyway, for example, often looked less attractive the moment they entered the studio, to Vincent’s chagrin. In early 1883, he came up with a clever system of four shutters with canvas stretched over them, which could be opened and closed separately. The shutters allowed him to adjust the amount of light striking his model from above and below.

Vincent continued to live and work in the second studio on the Schenkweg until the end of his The Hague period (11 September 1883).

Made here

Girl kneeling in front of a cradle, 1883

Girl kneeling in front of a cradle, 1883

Mixed media, 48 x 32,3 cm

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

Old man drinking coffee, 1882

Old man drinking coffee, 1882

Pencil, 49,4 x 28,6 cm

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

Soup distribution in a public soup kitchen, 1883

Soup distribution in a public soup kitchen, 1883

Mixed media, 56,5 x 44,4 cm

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

Head of a man with a pipe and bandaged eye, 1882

Head of a man with a pipe and bandaged eye, 1882

Mixed media, 45 x 27,6 cm

Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

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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