In early 1882, Vincent befriended the artist George Hendrik Breitner (1857–1923), and they often went out together because of their shared interest in drawing on the streets and in working-class neighbourhoods. They also visited each other’s studios. The Juffrouw Idastraat, where Breitner was registered as a resident in 1882 and 1883, is in one of the oldest parts of The Hague and gives a good impression of its time.
On 13 February 1882, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo:
“At the moment I quite often go to draw with Breitner, a young painter who’s acquainted with Rochussen as I am with Mauve. He draws very skilfully and very differently from me, and we often draw types together in the soup kitchen or the waiting room &c. He sometimes comes to my studio to look at woodcuts, and I go to see the ones he has as well. He has the studio that Apol used to have at Siebenhaar’s.”
Christiaan Siebenhaar (1824–1885) was a fencing instructor who rented out studio rooms in the building where he gave lessons. Artists such as Bernardus Johannes Blommers (1845–1914), Theo Mesker (1853–1894) and Willem Maris (1844–1910) also had studios there.