Van Gogh : CHRONOLOGY
La Société du Bien-être
Father : Dorus ( 2/2/1822-26/3/1885)
Studies of theology in Breda and Ultrecht and appointed minister
Arrives in Zundert, a small village
in the Dutch Brabant, in 1849.
Religious, political and social
Zundert Protestant community
Mother: Anna-Cornelia ( 10/9/1819-1907)
1851: Dorus is accused of misappropriation.
Marriage of his parents
1852 March 30th : birth of the first
1853- March 30th 1853: birth of Vincent
Economic crisis due to the potato disease.
The organ is brought into service
1854- bad harvests
1855- February 17th : birth of Anna-Cornelia
Opening of the railway between
Anvers and the Belgian border.
1856- Zundert School
1857- birth of Theo ( May 1st 1857-
January 25th 1891)
The harvests are better.
1858: Vincent likes animals and flowers.
1859: birth of Elizabeth (16/3/1859-
1860- enrolled in the municipal school. Collects objects: beetles,
1861- another bedroom was made in the attic. He models an earthen elephant
then shatters it.
1862- January : Birth of Wilhema.
A governess is hired.
Dorus is opposed to the village fairs.
1863- a new governess for
1864- May 2nd : a new governess.
1865- October 1st : his first private boarding school in Zevenberger
at M. Provilys (6 Stationstraat). He will stay 22 months there.
1866- He is enrolled in Tilburg
secondary school ( Stadhuisplein 130- HBS, Modern School), and will stay
18 months there.
Lives in the Hanniks family ( 19 St. Annaplein)
1867- birth of Cor, his youngest
brother ( May 7th 1867-1900)
July 5th : a new governess.
1868- March 19th : He stops studying. Back to Zundert where he stays until
August 69 (17 months).
1869- August 8th 1869- June 13th 1873: La Haye (44 months).
Joins Goupil, an art dealer (14
Lives in the Roos family (32 Lange Beestenmarkt).
Visits museums in La Haye.
1870- Learns the trade of art, makes quick progress.
Gets interested in painting and reading.
1871- His father is appointed in Helvoirt
1872- August: Theos visit. Beginning of the Vincent-Theo correspondence.
1873- January: visits the Goupil branch in Brussels.
He is happy to be in London. Relaxed, he draws some landscapes.
1873- June 13th October 1874: London (13 months).
Works for Goupil (17 Southampton Street).
Lives in furnished flats until August 1873 when he boards with Mrs Loyer
( 87 Hackford Street- Hackford Road).
Christmas with the Loyers.
1874- January: his salary increases, he likes his work, draws his bosss
He falls in love with his lodgers daughter, Eugénie.
He declares his love in July but is turned down.
He is asked to leave.
At the end of July, he returns to Helvoirt, deeply depressed.
He spends the summer there, makes some drawings then goes back to London
with his sister (in Kensington).
He takes little interest in his work and reads the Bible.
In October, he is sent to Paris for three months (Goupil shop, 9 rue Chaptal).
He lives in Montmartre where he rents a room with Harry Gladwell, a young
Englishman working in Goupil as well.
In December, he goes back to Helvoirt for Christmas.
At the end of December (May 15th 75), he suddenly returns to London (
to see Eugénie again?)
1875- January: he resumes his work at Goupils and rents a room (
395 Kennington Road).
Hes bad-tempered and has obsessions.
April: in Paris ( Avray city), a drawing.
May 15th (April 4th 1876). He is transferred to the Paris Goupil gallery
for good (9 rue Chaptal) where he will stay eleven months.
He visits museums, worships Corot and the Dutch Masters.
August-September: he needs to talk about himself. His letters to Theo
October: father appointed to Etten
(4 Roosendaalseweg) where he spends Christmas.
1876- January: the Goupil gallery informs him that he is laid off and
that he will have to leave within 3 months.
April 1st : He resigns from Goupil. He has no money left.
He looks for a job in England, reads the papers, and applies for post
as coach in Ramsgate.
April 16th (-June 1876): Ramsgate
( 8 months), M. Stockess School (6 Royal Road), he rents a room
(11 Spenser Square).
June-July: follows the school which moves to Isleworth.
He feels sick and writes morbid letters to Theo.
He looks for another job which he finds near London, in Isleworth.
He must assist the reverend Thomas Slade-jones.
He lives in a room (160 Twickenham Road- Holme Court). He visits and draws
At the end of October: he makes his first sermon: I am a stranger
on earth and decides to devote his life to evangelising the poor.
Still interested in art, he visits Hampton Court and the museums.
He sinks into a deep melancholy.
December: Christmas in Etten. His parents are worried to see him in such
a state of mind.
1877- January: encouraged by his parents, he decides not to return to
Isleworth, and starts studying theology.
Meanwhile, his uncle finds a position for him in a Dordrecht
bookstore (January 21st- May 1877) where he will stay four months ( 256
Voorstraat opposite Scheffersplein- square) and lives at Grocer Rijkens
( 24 Tolbrugstraat Waterzijde).
He reads a lot and wants to teach the Gospel. He starts practising, attends
religious services and translates the Bible in several languages.
In April, Vincent leaves Dordrechy to go to Zundert and bid farewell to
the dying Aersten.
In April, he leaves the bookstore and settles at his uncle Jans,
in Amsterdam (3 Grote Kattenburgerstraat).
He must prepare the entrance examination to the University of Theology.
Da Costa teaches him Latin, Greek,
Maths. Vincent reads, visits museums, draws.
May 30th : brooding, he cant manage to work.
Theo sends him some money, then turns his back on him for long months
November 15th : Theo visits him, they have a long discussion.
1878- he studies relentlessly, then loses heart.
In April, he draws Macphelas
In May, he gives up studying and returns, disappointed, to Etten
where he spends some time at his parents (until August).
His father tries to help him. He is introduced to the Flemish school of
Evangelization and manages to make a good impression.
On April 25th, he goes to Brussels (Laeken) and enrolls at the school
In October: he is expelled from the school, as considered unfit for the
title of evangelist.
In November, he goes back to Etten, nervous, thinner and insomniac.
He draws a miners café;
he has just heard of the Borinage, a very poor mining country.
He asks for the permission of the Brussels evangelist church to work as
preacher in Wasmes.
On November 15th, he settles in Pâturage in the Borinage,
at van der Haegen (39 rue de lEglise) for a month. He visits the
sick and organizes religious readings.
December 26th 1878: he takes his post in Wasmes, where he is appointed
preacher at the miners for six months.
1879- January: he lives at the bakers, Denis
(221 Rue du Petit-Wasmes) and preaches at the Protestant centre Salon
de Bébé (257 Rue du Bois).
He is deeply moved by the miners misery and difficult living conditions.
In April: he goes down to the bottom of the Marcasse (900m), to see miners
actual working conditions.
April 17th: firedamp explosion at the mine. Some men die, others are injured.
To help them, Vincent gets rid of his clothes, of his money, and lives
in extreme poverty.He leaves his accommodation at the bakers
Denis to settle in a damp hut where he nearly dies.
He doesnt preach anymore, nor does he teach and looks like a beggar.
In July: the Belgian School of Evangelizations members are outaged
by his appearance and relieve him of his duties.
He starts drawing and in August, he goes to Brussels, at the reverend
Pietersens, a famous
priest in Brussels the paintings of whom he had seen. He shows him his
drawings. Pietersen encourages him to go on.
August : back to Cuesmes where he keeps preaching on a personal level.
He gives lessons to children and teach them drawing.
First he lives 8 rue du Grand Marais, then at Decrucqs, a miner,
where he shares his room with the children.
Vincents soul is tortured, he feels rejected by everybody, but keeps
drawing on and on.
October 15th : Theos visit; the latter criticizes him. They no longer
write to each other.
1880 March : goes to Courrières on foot and moneyless to
see Jules Breton, the painter
of peasants,whom he admires, but doesnt dare to knock at his
door and goes back to Cuesmes.
He meets weavers on his way back.
He lives at the miners Decrucq.
July: he gets in touch with Theo again, shows him his drawings, miners
at work, and copies Millet.
He has decided to learn how to paint seriously.
August : he asks Teersteg, his
former boss in La Haye, to lend him the Etudes de Dessin (Drawing
Studies) by Bargue to work on them.
October: leaves the Borinage.
October 15th 1880- April 12th 1881: Brussels (72 Zuidlaan/Boulevard du
Midi) (7 months)
Vincent registers to the Brussels Academy
of the Fine-Arts and attends drawing, anatomy and perspective lessons.
Admires Millet and Daumier.
November: meets the painter Roelofs
then Van Rappard, a Dutch nobleman
who will become his friend.
1881- Spring: goes to Etten to see Theo.
April: leaves Brussels for Etten.
Falls in love with Kee, his cousin,
a young widow who has come to take rest at her parents, but he is
The relationship with his family is tense.
December 28th (- September 11th 1883): heads for La Haye.
Hes greeted by his cousin Mauve,
a well-known painter, whom he admires.
Mauve will help him to settle down and teaches him watercolour.
Rents a small room near Mauves home.
He meets Sien, a pregnant prostitute
who becomes his model then his girlfriend.
March : Mauve doesnt want to see him anymore.
April : His uncle Cor orders 20
drawings to him, representing the city of La Haye.
June : 3 weeks in hospital for a gonorrhea.
August : the merchant of colours of La Haye exhibits a few canvases by
1883- He makes portraits of ordinary people and of Sien with her baby,
and makes revolutionary comments. .
Draws Sorrow. Lives a quiet workers life with Sien and
her two children.
Theo also has an affair with Marie,
who also was a former prostitute.
He rents a bigger flat to live with Sien who has just given birth to a
Autumn: His father is moved to Nuenen.
He stays in La Haye. Reads, works endlessly, achieves lithographs and
portraits, paints landscapes and draws fom nature.
Theo has trouble with his employers, money
might be hard to find soon.
Vincent thinks of settling in the Drenthe.
September: leaves Sien and La Haye.
September 11th 1883- November 30th
1883: Vincent lives in the Drenthe.
He paints there and draws the farm
But the country is too dreary and inhospitable and on December 3rd 1883,
he goes back to live with his parents who have now settled in Nuenen
at 26 Berg (23 months).
Feels sheltered after several years of misery. He likes the country but
he is against his father, doesnt want to subscribe to conventions
and refuses to go to mass.
Works endlessly, paints Brabant types, peasants at work, diggers,
diggers with spades...
His relationship with Theo is far from peaceful, as he reproaches him
with forcing him to leave Sien and wanting to lead his life.
January : his mother breaks her leg. He looks after her, tries to be helpful.
Starts seeing his neighbour Margot. They set their mind on getting married,
but Margots sisters are against this wedding.
May : After an argument with his father, he puts up his workshop at the
Catholic sexton (49 Park, Parish Sextons house).
August: Margot tries to commit
October: Rappart spends 10 days in Nuenen. Vincent shows him his studies
November: Vincent decorates Hermans
living-room, his friend jeweller, and gives painting lessons to a
Works endlessly (Dutch period). Achieves 200 drawings, watercolours
March 26th: His father suddenly dies from apoplexy.
April-May: he paints les Mangeurs de Pommes de terre (The
September : he is made responsible for getting a young peasant
pregnant, the Catholic priest prevents his flock from posing for him.
October : visits the Rijcksmuseum in Amsterdam. Admires Rembrandt.
November : appreciates Rubens and discovers Japanese engravings.
Decides to settle there.
November 24th 1885-March 1886 : Anvers
(224 Lange Beeldekensstraat at Brandels). He registers at the School
of the Fine-Arts and attends lessons at various workshops.
Exhausted, ill, he leaves Anvers at the end of February for Paris.
March 1886-February 28th 1886 : arrives in Paris.
Theo works at Goupils (19 Boulevard Montmartre).
March : paints self-portraits
and still lives.
June : moves to 54 rue Lepic.
With Theo, they have lunch at the Bataille Restaurant (rue des Abesses).
Takes care of his teeth.
Influenced by the painter Monticelli
from Marseille, he paints flowers all summer.
September: Vincent takes painting lessons at the Cormon
workshop (104 Boulevard de Cichy).
Studies of living models and makes plaster castings.
who makes his portrait.
Sees Emile Bernard, Anquetin, often goes out, has a rich social life.
Makes paintings of Montmartre and Boulogne.
October: often goes to Father Tanguys
shop, merchant of colours who exhibits his works.
November : Russell paints his
December : Goes to the Mirliton, Aristide Bruants cabaret.
1887- January : makes Tanguys portrait.
Dates Augustina Segatori who runs the cabaret Le Tambourin.
March : problems of living together with Theo.
March 22nd : organizes an exhibition of engravings at Le Tambourin.
April-May : paints with Signac
in Asnières. Sensitive to the Impressionnist theories about colour,
he achieves a few pointillist canvases.
Also influenced by Japonism, he collects engravings.
Spring : paints windmills.
End of July : splits with Augustina Segatori.
Summer: paints landscapes and achieves 14 self-portraits.
His palette improves.
September: portrait of Tanguy with Bernard.
November: organizes an exhibition in a restaurant, Le Grand
Bouillon with Anquetin, Bernard, Lautrec, Koning, Guillaumin... He
exhibits a hundred canvases.
Seurat and Gauguin.
December 13th : exhibits a canvas at the rehearsal room of the ThÈtre
Winter : paints still lives: fruit and vegetables.
Makes three canvases after Japanese engravings on wood, then sunflowers.
Discussions in the cafes with Guillaumin, the Pissaros,
Gauguin and Seurat.
Feels ill at ease in Paris and decides to go to the Midi.
Before going, he decorates the house with Japanese engravings and his
February 20th : Arrives in Arles.
Takes a room at the Carrel Hotel-Restaurant,
rue de la Cavalerie.
Paints two landscapes of Arles in the snow,
an old Arlesian woman then
blooming tree branches in the Japanese way.
Amazed at the quality of the light, he paints with an eagerness
to work the blooming orchards.
April: draws with a carved reed.
May 7th : leaves the Carrel Hotel-Restaurant, settles at the Café
de la Gare at the Ginouxs and rents the Yellow
House, Lamartine Square, which he uses as a workshop.
Paints views of Arles, farms,
fields, and draws the gardens in front of the Yellow House.
May 22nd : Receives a letter from Gauguin in which the latter complains
about his lack of money and poor health. Vincent suggests he should join
June : Draws and paints in Montmajour
and landscapes of the plain of La Crau.
Spends a week at the Saintes-Maries
de-la-Mer where he paints two seascapes,
a view of the village and draws
huts and boats. Decides to deepen colour more.
July : Starts a new series of paintings and drawings of the garden
in front of the Yellow House.
August : fascinated by yellow, he decides to paint a series of sunflowers
to decorate the workshop.
At the end of August, he paints a quick sketch of him, loaded
with his painters paraphernalia
on the sunny road of Tarascon.
September : paintings by night: a view of the Rhone, the outside of a
café by night, on the Forum Square, then the Ginoux's
Café by Night.
September 18th : lives in the Yellow House and prepares Gauguins
Makes his self-portrait in Japanese bonze.
Gauguin arrives on October 23rd.
November: Vincent and Gauguin walk and paint together on the motif (Alyscamps).
December : Conflicts appear, and after a visit to the Fabre Museum in
Montpellier, Gauguin decides
to go away because of incompabilities of temper.
On December 23rd, in a fit of anger, Vincent cuts a bit of his right ear
lobe. The French policemen take him to Arles hospital
on the following day.
Warned by Gauguin, Theo takes the train and arrives on December 26th at
his brothers bedside.
After a week in an isolation
room, he is put back in the common
January 7th. Leaving the hospital, he paints again, draws Dr Reys
At the end of January, a petition
from 30 Arlesians demands his commital.
The Mayor asks for an investigation by the police and a medical evidence.
On February 7th, he is summoned by Dr Delon
who affirms his mental faculties are deeply altered.
February 8-9-10th : Taken to hospital after a new epileptic fit.
February 27th : Statement of offense from the police investigation. Vincent
is commited at once.
March 19th : He writes to Theo that he was commited in the absence of
Doctor Rey, and that his house is sealed.
March 25th : Signacs visit. He can paint again.
April : Empties the Yellow House and sends boxes of canvases to Theo.
Following Dr Rey and the minister Salles
advice, Vincent decides to go and spend a few months in a nursing home
May 3rd : arrives to the Mausole
hospital with the minister Salles.
Doesnt go out, works in the garden, in his bedroom, or in the workshop
that he can use.
June 6th: paints cypresses, Gaussier
Mount, and olive trees around.
July 5th : Jos letter telling him shes pregnant.
Back from Arles where he went to pick up his canvases, he is shaken by
August 2nd: feels better. Paints in the mountains around.
September : works from morning to night.
Doesnt go out once in two months. Makes copies of Millets
October: Theo talks of Auvers sur Oise to him, where a doctor friend with
painters can greet him.
November : Paints olive-tree orchards.
End of December: (short) epileptic fit.
January 5th : very calm, thinks of going to Paris.
January 29th : shaken by a fit after a trip to Arles.
January 31st : birth of Vincent,
February 1st : the art critic Albert Aurier
writes a most laudative article in the "Mercure de France".
February : Vincent paints an almond tree branch for the baby's bedroom.
Makes other portraits of Mme Ginoux.
Copies Millet, Breton,
February 24th : Shaken by a new, serious fit when he arrives in Arles.
Taken by the hospital nurses on the following day.
March : very worried, he decides to go to the North.
March 29th : Theo meets Dr Gachet in Paris.
April 29th : Vincent writes again, feels a little better, wants to go
May : Theo organizes his trip to Auvers.
Vincent copies the Resurrection
by Rembrandt, as well as some of Daumier's
Paints flowers and undergrowths.
On Saturday May 17th, he arrives in Paris.
Stays three days at Theo's (8 cite Pigalle).
Tuesday May 20th : hastily sets for Auvers, meets Doctor Gachet,
boards at the Ravoux Inn.
Sets to painting at once : old Stubbles,
drawing of an old vineyard, studies of a blooming chestnut tree
Tuesday May 27th : paints two canvases at Gachets and offers them
to him. Gachet comes to see his works at the inn.
Monday June 2nd : starts painting Gachets portrait.
Sunday June 8th : Theo and his family spend the day in Auvers.
Wednesday June 11th : paints a great
Saturday June 14th : achieves studies on harvests.
Tuesday June 17th : achieves an etching at Gachets.
Tuesday June 24th : draws the portrait of the innkeepers daughter,
Thursday June 26th : Marguerite
Monday June 30th: Receives a worrying letter from Theo (his baby is ill
and he has trouble with his employers).
Sunday July 6th : spends a difficult day in Paris (tensions with Jo and
Theo) whom he leaves in a hurry.
Monday July 7th: short worrying letter from Vincent. What will become
of him without Theos help?
Paints wheat fields under troubled
Thursday July 10th : his letter being unanswered, he writes down his anxiety
Jo sends him a reassuring letter.
Sunday July 13th: paints Auvers
town council and its garlands.
Monday July 14th: receives a letter from Theo which rekindles his anxiety.
Tuesday July 15th : Theo and his family head for Leyde.
Wednesday July 16th: Vincent, angry, writes a harsh (lost) letter to Theo
in which he refers to violent family argues and is still worried
about his survival. Vincent insists on seeing him as soon as possible.
Monday 21st : Back in Paris, Theo answers his letter, telling him to go
and see Doctor Gachet.
Wednesday July 23rd : Vincent writes a first draft
in answer to Theo (which he wont send) where he notices that Theo
slips away, and doesnt tell him to come despite his insistent letters.
The letter ends with What do you want?
July 24th : Writes his last letter. The link with Theo seems broken for
him. He feels guilty for the money he owes him.
Sunday July 27th: shoots a bullet
in his heart (but the bullet is deflected by a rib)
Goes back to the inn holding his stomach. The innkeeper sends for Doctor
Gachet who bandages him around 9 p.m. Vincent suffers all night, assisted
by Ravoux and his neighbour Hirshig.
Monday 28th: Theo, warned by Hirshig, runs up in the morning. And stays
with him till the end.
Tuesday July 29th at 1.30 p.m : Vincents death.
The funeral takes place on the following day, Wednesday July 30th, in
presence of his friends Tanguy, Emile Bernard, Lautrec, Laval, Bonger
Theo dies six months later in Utrecht, after having gone mad.