Van Gogh’s intimi 21 sep 2019 t/m 12 jan 2020 Naar overzicht
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From 21 September

Van Gogh's Inner Circle

Get to know Vincent through the eyes of his friends, family and models and discover their place in the life and work of an artist who was anything but lonely.

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Asset 1
Theo van Gogh
Theo van Gogh

Theo on Vincent:

It’s as if there are two people in him, the one marvellously gifted, ... the other self-loving and unfeeling.
Asset 2
Anthon van Rappard
Anthon van Rappard

Anthon on Vincent:

He wasn't easy to get along with. Few were those who were able to withstand his fanatical fervour.
Asset 3
Sien Hoornik
Sien Hoornik

Vincent on Sien:

It is a strong and powerful emotion ...when one has sat beside the woman one loves with a child in the cradle near her.
Asset 4
Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin

Paul on Vincent:

You know that he was a true friend to me; and that he was an artist, a rarity in our age.
Asset 5
Paul Signac
Paul Signac

Paul on Vincent:

Give us news of yourself sometimes, you will give us great pleasure.
Asset 2
Marie Ginoux
Marie Ginoux

Marie on Vincent:

Give us news of yourself sometimes, you will give us great pleasure.
Asset 7
Afbeelding Vincent van Gogh

Get to know the entire inner cirlce

Never before has an exhibition been devoted to the relationship between Van Gogh and the people who played a major role in both his life and his work, from Brabant to the South of France and Auvers-sur-Oise. Drawings and paintings for which relatives and loved-ones posed, portraits of artist friends, letters he sent and received, and sketchbooks that he made for others bring the visitor very close to the person behind the artist.

Read more about this exhibition
Theo van GoghTheo on Vincent:
It’s as if there are two people in him, the one marvellously gifted, ... the other self-loving and unfeeling.

Theo van Gogh

Vincent’s brother

Theo has a special relationship with his older brother. The contrast between the two is significant: whereas Vincent has a tempestuous streak, Theo's is mild-natured. When working as an art dealer in 1872, Theo shares his enthusiasm with his brother. It is Theo’s idea for Vincent to become an artist.

When Vincent does decide to become an artist, his brother Theo decides he will support him financially - something he continues to do throughout Vincent’s ten-year career. However, their relationship isn’t without its ups and downs. The two brothers would later spend two years living together in Paris. But the genteel Theo finds his brother’s outbursts and vigorous debates a challenge. Despite their differences, they always remain close. This is clearly documented in their long-standing and famous letters of correspondence.

Illustration by Bart Vliegen

Anthon van RappardAnthon on Vincent:
He wasn't easy to get along with. Few were those who were able to withstand his fanatical fervour.

Anthon van Rappard

Artist friend of Vincent's

Anthon van Rappard meets Vincent in 1880 in Brussels. The shy, at times insecure Van Rappard initially struggles with Vincent’s temperament, which he describes as an ‘intense, fanatical character’. Regardless, the two soon become friends and Van Rappard continues to write to Vincent, even after he leaves Brussels.

Van Rappard and Vincent both like to paint labourers and farmers. In 1885, Vincent sends Van Rappard a lithograph of the first version of the painting The Potato Eaters. Given the grotesque forms and strange proportions of the figures in the piece, Van Rappard thinks it is a hoax. Vincent is deeply hurt by this. The two do write to one another again afterwards, but their relationship is never the same.

Illustration by Bart Vliegen

Sien HoornikVincent on Sien:
It is a strong and powerful emotion ...when one has sat beside the woman one loves with a child in the cradle near her.

Sien Hoornik

Vincent’s mistress

In January 1882, former prostitute, Sien Hoornik meets Vincent. They begin to have feelings for one another. Sien regularly poses for Vincent. Which isn’t surprising, because her downtrodden appearance makes her exactly the kind of working class model Vincent likes to depict. Sien and her two children live together with Vincent for a year, and together they form a family.
Sien and Vincent seem fond of each other and domestic life suits them. Yet not everyone is happy about Sien: Vincent’s friends and family prefer to see him without Sien. Their relationship soon reaches a dead end, when Vincent suspects Sien's family of turning her against him. He is worried that she will be led astray again and 

Illustration by Bart Vliegen

Paul GauguinPaul on Vincent:
You know that he was a true friend to me; and that he was an artist, a rarity in our age.

Paul Gauguin

Artist friend of Vincent’s

Paul Gauguin meets Vincent in the final months of 1887, during an exhibition Vincent has organised in Paris. Vincent will also have come into contact with Gauguin at Theo Van Gogh's gallery, and the two artists strike up a friendship. He visits Vincent in the autumn and winter of 1888 in Arles, where they spend most of their time painting together.
The partnership appears to go well at first, but Gauguin soon has his doubts. The two artists not only have contrasting ideas about art, but contrasting personalities, too. Emotions regularly run high, culminating in a big argument on 23 December, when Gauguin decides to go and find himself a hotel. That night, Vincent cuts off his ear. Gauguin continues to write to Vincent after the ‘ear incident’, but they would never see one another again.
Illustration by Bart Vliegen
Paul SignacPaul on Vincent:
Give us news of yourself sometimes, you will give us great pleasure.

Paul Signac

Artist friend of Vincent’s

Paul Signac meets Vincent at Julien (‘Père’) Tanguy's in Paris, from whom they both purchase their art supplies. Signac is a sociable man with a robust and spirited character. He can be so direct, that it frightens some people off. In his friendship with Vincent, this trait comes in handy - because Vincent is no different. A mutual affinity develops. 
The bond is not only one of friendship; the two are also aligned artistically. When Vincent ends up in hospital once again in February 1889, Signac comes to visit him. This is the last time Signac will see Vincent, but Vincent will remain in his thoughts. When touring Provence with his wife  in 1933, he also stops off at Arles. He uses the occasion to produce a sketch  of The Yellow House, a gesture he repeats two years later.
Illustration by Bart Vliegen
Marie GinouxMarie on Vincent:
Give us news of yourself sometimes, you will give us great pleasure.

Marie Ginoux

Friend and model of Vincent's

Marie Ginoux meets Vincent in Arles. She and her husband, Joseph, own the Café de la Gare where Vincent rents a room for a number of months in 1888. The Ginoux couple build up a good rapport with Vincent as an immediate neighbour and frequent patron of their drinking establishment. He paints their café and portraits of Marie in traditional Arles costume.  
When Vincent begins to suffer from mental breakdowns, the local residents want rid of him. They start a petition. Joseph refuses to sign it. Though he does tell the police the truth; that Vincent is displaying confused and inappropriate behaviour. The Ginouxes don’t desert him, however: they store his art and belongings when Vincent is voluntarily admitted to the asylum in Saint-Rémy. 

Illustration by Bart Vliegen

Van Gogh's Inner Circle

Get to really know Vincent through the eyes of his friends, family and models

21 sep 2019 until 12 jan 2020

Het Noordbrabants Museum

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