Van Gogh in
Vincent van Goghplein 1
The church still exists.
Van Gogh in
Vincent’s father, Theodorus “Dorus” van Gogh, was appointed minister for the village of Zundert in 1849. He gave weekly sermons in the local church, which had been built in 1806 and was home to a small Protestant community of 114 members, 56 of them practising. Many significant events, including the Van Gogh children’s baptisms, took place in and around the church. The font used to baptise Vincent on 24 April 1853 still stands inside the church today.
Starlings often perched on the roof of the church, and this image stayed with Vincent. He recalled the memory in a February 1877 letter to his brother Theo and drew the church with birds on its roof in a sketchbook for Betsy Tersteeg (the daughter of his boss at the art dealers Goupil & Cie in The Hague).
In January 1871, Dorus left his post as minister in Zundert and moved to the Protestant community of Helvoirt. He occasionally returned to Zundert to preach – for instance, on 21 July 1878, when he was accompanied by Vincent.
Relevant letters from Vincent
No relevant letters found so far.