discover the places where Vincent lived and worked

Musée Ancien
Antwerp, Belgium

  • November 25, 1885

After his arrival in Antwerp, Vincent visited various museums. At the Musée Ancien, which housed classical art, he saw paintings by Dutch and Flemish old masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Jacob Jordaens and Jan van Eyck. Vincent especially loved the painting The Fisher Boy by Frans Hals (c. 1630). He particularly admired it because:

“I see so many types among the people here who remind me of that age.” Read the complete letter

Vincent was a fan of Hals’s work. He admired Hals’s and Rembrandt’s quick painting style and they way they rendered shapes using just a few brushstrokes. For Vincent, it was a pleasure to see paintings that had not been "painstakingly smoothed out".


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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