Portrait of Jozef Blok, 1882
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
In November 1882 Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo: ‘Do you know who I drew this morning? Blok, the Jewish bookman. Not David but the little fellow who stands in the Binnenhof’. Van Gogh was referring here to his portrait of the street bookseller Jozef Blok (1832-1905), who was sometimes called the ‘Binnenhof’s outdoor librarian’. Among the items Van Gogh bought from him were 21 complete annual series of The Graphic, an English journal from which the artist cut out illustrations for his collection.