discover the places where Vincent lived and worked

Johannes Hillen
The Hague, The Netherlands

  • July 30, 1869 - May 10, 1873

Vincent’s letter of 8 July 1876 to his brother Theo – then staying in The Hague – indicates that he took catechism lessons from Johannes Hillen in the city at some point between 1869 and 1873:

“Now I have a request to make of you. Back then in The Hague I went to a catechist, Hillen, who was living in Bagijnestraat at the time. He took great pains over me and, although I didn’t show it, what he said made an impression on me, and I have a mind to write a word or two to him, perhaps it would give him pleasure. Go and find him if you have the time and can discover his address, and tell him that I’ve become a schoolmaster and, who knows, may later find some kind of situation connected with the church. He’s a very modest man, one who has struggled a lot, I believe; sometimes when I went to see him and took a look at him I couldn’t help thinking that the end of that man will be peace. And give him the enclosed drawing for me.’’  Read the complete letter

Vincent was evidently fond of Hillen, even giving him a drawing (it is not known which one).


Teun Berserik and Feico Hoekstra
Vincent van Gogh: de vroege jaren 

Amsterdam, 2012

F. Leeman and J. Sillevis
De Haagse School en de jonge Van Gogh

Zwolle, 2005

In de voetsporen van Van Gogh
Wandeling bij De Haagse School en de jonge Van Gogh
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, 2005

Michiel van der Mast and Charles Dumas
Van Gogh en Den Haag

Zwolle, 1990

Jan Meyers
De jonge Vincent: jaren van vervoering en vernedering

Amsterdam, 1989

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