Van Gogh in 1880 – 1883, first steps as an Artist, Van Gogh Museum

In the summer of 1880, Vincent van gogh decided to become an artist. In the spring of 1881, Vincent moved back in with his parents, who were now living in Etten, also in Brabant. He practised drawing and frequently worked out of doors. In the meantime, his brother Theo had been appointed manager of Goupil & Cie in Paris. He supported Vincent financially so he could focus entirely on his art.

Vincents parents were extremely disappointed that their eldest son had chosen the life of an artist, which in their eyes was synonymous with social failure. It did not help that Vincent had fallen in love with his cousin, Kee Vos. Kee was a widow and wanted nothing to do with him, but Van Gogh persisted. This did not go down well with his family and, following a row with his father, Vincent walked out of his parents’ house on Christmas Day 1881. He found a new home in The Hague.

Vincent took painting lessons in The Hague from a cousin by marriage, the celebrated artist Anton Mauve. Van Gogh felt his drawing technique was not yet good enough, so he also continued to practise fanatically. Mauve was the successful artist Van Gogh longed to be. Mauve invited him to return in a few months, and suggested he spend the intervening time working in charcoal and pastels; Van Gogh went back to Etten and followed this advice.

An uncle gave him his first commission: twelve drawings of city views in The Hague. The series gave him the opportunity to develop his perspective skills. Mauve taught Vincent the basics of painting in watercolour and oils and Van Gogh visited his studio almost every day.

Vincent met Sien Hoornik in early 1882. She became both his model and his lover. Vincent’s friends and family (including Mauve) were shocked, as Sien was a former prostitute. What’s more, she was pregnant and already had a five-year-old daughter. Vincent felt sorry for Sien, though, and was determined to take care of her. They rented a studio in which she, the little girl and the new baby could all live as well. Theo did not approve of Vincent’s choice, but continued to support him financially. Vincent remained stubborn, but eventually realized that his relationship with Sien was not working out the way he hoped, so he broke it off.

Following his split with Sien, Vincent travelled to the countryside in Drenthe to draw and paint the heathland and moors. He thought the landscape beautiful and set to work in good spirits. Nevertheless, the province did not only bring him peace and inspiration:

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‘Drenthe is superb, but staying there depends on many things — depends on whether one has the money for it, depends on whether one can endure the loneliness.’

Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum has the largest Van Gogh collection in the world It comprises 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by Vincent van Gogh.The Van Gogh Museum is a museum dedicated to the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, on the Paulus Potterstraat and the Museumplein in Amsterdam, in the Zuid district. The collection of the museum contains more than two hundred paintings, five hundred drawings and seven hundred letters from Vincent van Gogh, as well as his collection of Japanese prints, and the library comprises more than 23,000 works.

The museum is situated at the Museumplein in Amsterdam-Zuid, on the Paulus Potterstraat 7, between the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum The museum consists of two buildings, the Rietveld building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, and the Kurokawa wing, designed by Kisho Kurokawa The museum offices are housed on Stadhouderskade 55 in Amsterdam-Zuid.

The Rietveld building is the main structure of the museum and exhibits the permanent collection The building has a rectangular floor plan and is four stories high On the ground floor are a shop, a café, and the introductory part of the art exhibition The first floor shows the works of Van Gogh grouped chronologically The second floor gives information about the restoration of paintings and has a space for minor temporary exhibitions The third floor shows paintings of Van Gogh’s contemporaries in relationship to the work of Van Gogh himself.