Article by Benno J. Stokvis (1926) ... he was highly
respected by the farmers. When he set off for work, he
generally wore a sort of raincoat and a sou'wester. In general
his attire was rough [“raw”]. Every day he might be
seen walking with a small campstool under one arm and a square
frame (??) under the other, always staring straight in front of
him, and he took little notice of people. Without doing
strikingly eccentric things, he yet seemed a queer sort of
When Vincent was busy painting, he did not like to be
watched; if anyone stood watching him longer than he liked, he
unreservedly begged the importunate person to clear off. At
times he was anything but meek.
Toward the poor he always showed himself exceedingly
open-handed; he once gave a beggar his own velvet suit, which
was as good as new. Now and then he would hand over a number of
drawings to his father for distribution among the members of
the consistory. If a drawing did not come off
“choicely” enough to his...
Newspaper article by D. Gestel (10 October 1930) ... the Roman Catholic Church at
Nuenen…There he was standing before us, that short,
square-built little man, called by the rustics “het
schildermenneke,” “the little painter
fellow.” His sunburned, weather-beaten face was framed in
a somewhat red and stubbly beard. His eyes were slightly
inflamed, probably from his painting in the sun. If it had not
been Sunday, he would certainly have been wearing his blue
blouse. Now he was dressed in a short, thick pea jacket, the
kind bargemen generally wear. While he was talking about his
work, he mostly kept his arms folded across his chest.
Time had been flying remarkably fast during this interesting
summer afternoon at Nuenen. Toward evening twilight Vincent
took us around the village. We turned into the narrow path
behind the pastor's house, and soon we reached the old, squat
tower and the small churchyard…After we had seen some
fine picturesque homesteads, it was time to start on our walk
Exerpt from La vie tragique de Vincent van Gogh (1939) ... remember well his
arrival at Pâturages; he was a blond young man of
medium stature and with a pleasant face; he was well dressed,
had excellent manners, and showed in his personal appearance
all the characteristics of Dutch cleanliness.
He expressed himself in French correctly, and was able to
preach quite satisfactorily at the religious gatherings of the
little Protestant group in Wasmes which they had entrusted to
his care. Another community in Wasmes had a pastor. He worked
near the edge of the forest, in the direction of Warquignies;
he led divine service in a former dance hall.
Our young man took lodgings in an old farm at Petit-Wasmes.
The house was relatively pretty - it differed considerably from
the dwellings in the neighborhood, where one saw only little
The family which had taken Vincent in had simple habits, and
lived like working people.
Article by Dr. M. E. Tralbaut (1948) ... of November 13, 1927, Tralbaut, p. 140):
And there Van Gogh appeared on the scene - the Van Gogh, who
was the spitting image of the portrait the Englishman Levens
made of him, and which was reproduced in the first number of
The Present and Presently. A flat, pink head with yellow
hair, an angular mask, a pointed nose, a short pipe stuck in
the midst of a tough, ill-cut beard. Van Gogh unfurls his
drawings, at which we look with something like a shuddering
terror, and immediately afterward starts painting the nude
model, who at that moment appears before the class.
Tralbaut publishes a reproduction of the official records of
the session of the academy's Board of Governors, at which
Vincent was relegated to a lower class (it was said that he
could not draw, although he had already painted the
“Potato Eaters”).We find in Piérard's
book what Piet van Havermaet told him on this point.
[Piérard, pp. 155-159] On the subject of
Article by V. W. van Gogh (1949) ... along
on walks, and talked a lot with him. He wore blue linen
trousers and a smock, and had a little red chin-tuft; he was
“an ugly creature.”
Vincent had painted his father weaving in the little house
where Dekkers was living now; he was very quick at drawing.
The models portrayed in the B. de la Faille pictures are No.
136: Sien de Groot, No. F 1446: Mieke van Rooy - and one of the
weavers: Toon Swinkels.
V. W. van Gogh, Civil Engineer