Looking for a Direction
Vincent van Gogh didn't find his direction in life until he was 27 years old. He tried different jobs, from art dealer to schoolmaster and lay preacher before he became an artist. Find out more, read his biography.
Discover places in Amsterdam that were important to Vincent van Gogh in this self-guided city walk and audio tour.
Vincent van Gogh arrived in Amsterdam in May 1877. At that time he had no plans of becoming an artist. Vincent wanted to study theology in order to become a minister like his father.
He had never finished his secondary education and came to the city to prepare for a state grammar school examination. He lived with his Uncle Jan at the naval dockyard.
From early morning to late at night he studied Greek, Latin, geometry and algebra. In his spare hours he strolled through the city, visited one of the churches or museums and paid his relatives a visit.
In the end, Vincent failed to successfully complete his studies in Amsterdam. Disillusioned, he left the city in July 1878 for his parents’ house in Etten. He only came to the capital for some short visits in 1881 and 1885.
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