In the spring of 1882, both George Hendrik Breitner and Vincent received treatment for venereal disease at the Burger Gasthuis. Breitner was admitted to hospital first, and Vincent occasionally visited him there, bringing him drawing supplies. Breitner had no idea his friend was ill and did not know of Vincent’s admission on 7 June 1882, and he left the hospital without greeting him. Vincent also wished to draw in hospital, and he wrote to his brother Theo:
“I don’t know if you know the ‘gift houses’ on Brouwersgracht opposite the hospital. I’d like to draw there when the weather permits. I’ve already made a few scratches there this week. They’re some rows of houses with small gardens which belong to the poor board, I believe.
The poorhouses still exist today.
The Burger Gasthuis was founded on Zuidwal in 1823, with 60 beds to serve a population of 40,000. A new hospital building was built in 1865, and it was here that Breitner and Vincent were patients.