discover the places where Vincent lived and worked

Willem Roelofs
Brussels, Belgium

  • October 1, 1880 - April 30, 1881

On 1 November 1880, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo that he had gone to see the Dutch artist Willem Roelofs (1822–1897) on Theo’s advice. Roelofs, who had lived in Brussels since 1848, occupied an influential position in the local art world, and his acquaintance could therefore prove useful. Roelofs advised Vincent

“that from now on I should concentrate on drawing from nature, i.e. whether plaster or model, but not without guidance from someone who understands it well. And he, and others too, seriously advised me definitely to go and work at a drawing academy, at least for a while, here or in Antwerp or anywhere I could, so I think I should in fact do something about getting admitted to that drawing academy, although I don’t particularly like the idea.” Read the complete letter

Vincent enrolled at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles in early November. It is unknown whether he stayed in touch with Roelofs.


Paul Fagel
Van Gogh in Brussel
In: Nederlandse Vereniging te Brussel. Jubileum 1906-1966

W. Lutjeharms 
De Vlaamse opleidingsschool van Nicolaas de Jonge en zijn opvolgers (1875-1926)
Brussel 1978

Bart Moens
De kunstenaarsopleiding van Vincent van Gogh in Brussel
Brussel 2012 (unpublished thesis, Van Gogh Museum library, Amsterdam)

Sjraar van Heugten (red.)
Van Gogh in the Borinage: the birth of an artist
Brussel, 2015


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