If you read Vincent’s letters, he doesn’t come across as a man who had big secrets. He was generally open in his correspondence with Theo, although it sometimes took him a while to report his latest news. He waited to tell Theo about his relationship with prostitute Sien Hoornik in The Hague. She was pregnant and had a daughter when Vincent met her.
Vincent expressed any grievances he had, and vented how he felt about what was keeping him busy. In 1877, he wrote in a letter to Theo:
‘Thanks for coming here yesterday, and do let’s carry on having as few secrets as possible. We’re brothers, after all’.
It would’ve naturally been quite a scoop to discover that Van Gogh had fathered 16 children on the sly, but we’re yet to find any such skeletons in his cupboard.
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It is precisely in these uncertain times that we find comfort in Vincent’s words and artworks. With your support we can continue to share his stories.