discover the places where Vincent lived and worked

School Jones
Isleworth, England

  • July 1, 1876 - December 20, 1876

During the couple of weeks that he worked at Stokes's boys school in Isleworth, Vincent got to know Thomas Slade-Jones (1829–1883). Like Stokes, Jones ran a boarding school on the Twickenham Road; he was also a minister. He offered Vincent a job at his school, Holme Court, a few buildings down the road from Stokes’s. Vincent began teaching there, and later, he also taught Sunday school and preached at Jones’s church in Turnham Green. He was therefore able to fulfil his ambition of doing religious work.

Vincent had a room on the second floor of Holme Court, above the dormitory at the back of the building where all the boys slept. He decorated his room with photographic portraits of his family and prints of works by artists including Paul Delaroche (1797–1856), Albert Anker (1831–1910) and Ary Scheffer (1795–1858) with biblical passages written along the edges. Vincent’s days were full. In the mornings, he got the boys up and gave them lessons in the Bible and other subjects. In the afternoons, he went out to do errands for Jones; travelled into the city, where he taught a couple of boys; or instructed or looked after Jones's children. In the evenings, before bedtime, Vincent told the boys stories; after a tiring day, they would sometimes fall asleep. After his own long days at work, Vincent took time to write to his family or organise his thoughts in his sermon book. He was doing more and more work in the Turnham Green church, and Jones hired a new assistant teacher to take over his job.

The arrangement suited Vincent, and he wrote enthusiastically about his new lifestyle. Even working for Jones, though, he was not earning enough to build a decent future, and during a stay in the Netherlands, he decided to change direction. He did not return to Isleworth but went to work in a bookstore in Dordrecht. Vincent remained in touch with Jones for a few years.


Martin Bailey
Young Vincent: the story of Van Gogh's years in England
London, 1990

Kristine Groenhart and Willem-Jan Verlinden
Hoe ik van Londen houd: wandelen door het Londen van Vincent van Gogh
Amsterdam, 2013

Jan Meyers
De jonge Vincent: jaren van vervoering en vernedering
Amsterdam, 1989

Ronald Pickvance
English influences on Vincent Van Gogh 
London, 1974

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