Van Gogh and Tersteeg

22 January 2004 - 4 March 2004

Van Gogh worked at Goupil's from 1869 to 1873. After being transferred to the London and Paris branches he was ultimately fired in 1876.

Initially their relationship must have been cordial. The tone in which the young Vincent wrote about Tersteeg to his brother Theo makes it clear that he respected this man, who kept a fatherly eye on the boys during their adolescence. He taught them a great deal about art and literature, and the brothers maintained contact with him after they had left The Hague.

Tersteeg did not think much of Vincent's eccentric attitude to life. Still, when Van Gogh decided to become an artist, Tersteeg sent him a paint box and a sketchbook and lent him model books by Charles Bargue to master the art of drawing.

When Van Gogh moved back to The Hague in 1882 as a fledgling artist, he expected much from Tersteeg, but the latter deemed Van Gogh's associates with the prostitute Sien Hoornik reprehensible and turned his back on him. They never spoke again.

An article on the relationship between Van Gogh and Tersteeg will appear in the Van Gogh Museum Journal 2003 (publication: February 2004).

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