discover the places where Vincent lived and worked

Leys hall
Antwerp, Belgium

  • November 25, 1885

In 1883, a few years before going to Antwerp, Vincent had called La promenade sur les remparts by the Flemish artist Hendrik (Henri) Leys (1815–1869) one of the loveliest paintings he knew. When he arrived in Antwerp, he almost immediately visited Leys’ mansion, where the work was on display.

Although Vincent looked forward to seeing the painting, it proved to be something of a disappointment. He had expected its composition to be different, and he disliked its colours. The room was poorly illuminated that day, and he tipped the bonne to light the chandelier so he could see better. In spite of his disappointment, he deemed the figures “superbly” rendered. Vincent perceived a timeless sentiment in Leys’ paintings.


Guido Persoons
Vincent van Gogh te Antwerpen in 1885-1886 : zijn opleiding in de Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten te Antwerpen als bijdrage tot de vorming van zijn kunstenaarschap
In: Periscoop, Vriendenkring van de Koninklijke Academie, 14-1 (1990) 

Mark Tralbaut
Van Gogh te Antwerpen
Antwerpen, 1958

Louis van Tilborg and Ella Hendriks
Vincent van Gogh schilderijen, deel 2: Antwerpen en Parijs
Amsterdam, 2011

Ella Hendriks and Louis van Tilborgh
New views on Van Gogh’s development in Antwerp and Paris: an integrated art historical and technical study of his paintings in the Van Gogh Museum
Universiteit van Amsterdam, dissertation, 2006

Marije Vellekoop, Sjraar van Heugten
Vincent van Gogh tekeningen, deel 3: Antwerpen en Parijs 1885 – 1888
Amsterdam, 2001

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