Vincent van Gogh Chronology
from the book Van Gogh: A Retrospective

(see also Van Gogh in Provence and Auvers)



1853
   30 MARCH. Vincent Willem van Gogh born in Groot-Zundert, the Netherlands, the eldest son of Reverend Theodorus van Gogh (1822-1885) and Anna Cornelia Carbentus (1819-1907).

1857
   1 MAY. Birth of his brother Theodorus. Among his siblings--three sisters, Anna Cornelia (1855-1930), Elizabeth Huberta (1859-1936), and Wilhelmien Jacoba (1862-1941), Theo, and another brother, Cornelius Vincent (1867-1900)-Theo was closest to Vincent.

1864
   OCTOBER. Attends the boarding school of Jan Provily at Zevenbergen until the summer of 1866.

1866
   SEPTEMBER. Attends the state Secondary School King Willem II at Tilburg until March 1868.

1868
   MARCH. Returns to his parents' home in Zundert.

1869
   SUMMER. Leaves Zundert. Works as a junior clerk for the art firm of Goupil and Co. in The Hague.

1873
   LATE MAY. Transferred to the London branch of Goupil's.
   AUGUST. Finds lodgings with Mrs. Sarah Ursula Loyer and falls in love with her daughter, Eugénie (b. 1854).

1874
   JUNE-JULY. Learns Eugénic is engaged; spends three weeks with his family in Holland.
   OCTOBER-DECEMBER. Tcmporarily transferred, against his will, to Goupil's branch in Paris.

1875
   JANUARY. Returns to the London branch of Goupil's. MID-MAY. Permanently assigned to Goupil's Paris branch.

1876
   31 MARCH. Discharged from Goupil's; leaves for England. APRIL-JUNE. Spends two months in Ramsgate as a teacher (of elementary French, German, arithmetic) at the school of William Port Stokes (1832?-1890).
   JULY-DECEMBER. Takes a teaching position at a boys' school run by Reverend T. Slade Jones (1829-1883) in Isleworth, where he also works in the parish and preaches occasionally.

1877
   JANUARY-APRIL. Works at a bookshop run by thc firm of Blussé and Van Braam in Dordrccht; finds lodgings at the home of the Rijkcns, merchants of corn and flour, in Tolbrugstraatje.
   MAY. In Amsterdam, prepares for entrance examinations to the faculty of theology at the university; stays with his uncle Jan (Johannes van Gogh, 1817-1885), a widower, then Commandant of the Navy Yard, later, Vice-Admiral.

1878
   JULY. Abandons theological studies; enrolls in a prepatory course for evangelists in Brussels.
   AUGUST--NOVEMBER. After three-month trial period at the mission school in Laeken, fails to qualify and returns to his parents' home, now in Etten.
   26 DECEMBER. Leaves for the Borinage, the coal-mining district of Belgium, where he begins missionary work in Pâturages.

1879
   JANUARY. Serves as mission preacher in Wasrues until his dismissal in July.
   AUGUST. Continues missionary work, on his own, in Cuesmes until August 1880.

1880
   AUGUST. Abandons evangelical work. Begins to draw with serious ambitions of becoming an artist.
   FALL. Leaves the Borinage for Brussels.
   Seeks advice from the painters Willera Roclofs (1822-1897) and Anthon G. A. Ridder van Rappard (1858-1892).
   Takes steps to enter the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

1881
   APRIL. Returns to Etten.
   SUMMER. Meets and later falls in love with his widowed cousin, Kee Vos Stricker; she rejects his affections.
   FALL-WINTER. Visits The Hague, where he receives instruction from his cousin, the noted Hague school painter of peasant life, Anton Mauve (I838-I888). Meets artists Theophile de Bock (1851-1904) and Johannes Bosboom (1817-1891).

1882
   JANUARY. Moves into a small studio at 138 Schenkweg in The Hague, where he lives with a prostitute, then pregnant, Clasina Maria Hoornik ("Sien"), and her five-year-old daughter.
   FEBRUARY--MARCH. Paints street scenes, sometimes in the company of the painter George Hendrik Breitner (18571923).
   Receives his first commission, a series of twelve drawings of city views, from his uncle, art dealer Cornelius Marinus ("C.M.") van Gogh (1824-1908).
   APRIL. Receives a second commission from C. M. for six detailed views.
   Complete break with Mauve following differences that had erupted by January.
   JUNE. Undergoes treatment for venereal disease at the Municipal Hospital on the Brouwersgracht.
   2 JULY. Sien has her second child. They move to larger quarters, next door, at 136 Schenkweg. SUMMER. Begins painting in oils. NOVEMBER. Experiments with lithography.
   DECEMBER. Considers finding employment as an illustrator, possibly in England.

1883
   Enjoys contacts with other artists working in The Hague: H.J. van der Weele (1852-1930), J. H. Weissenbruch (1824-1903), Hans-Olaf Heyerdahl (1857-1913), Willem Nakken (1835-1926), Otto Eerelman (1839-1926), Paulus van der Velden (1837-1915), and B.J. Blommers (1845-1914).
   SEPTEMBER--DECEMBER. Breaks with Sien. Leaves The Hague for Drenthe, where he stays until December, living first in the village of Hoogeveen, and then, Nieuw-Amsterdam.
   DECEMBER. Returns to his parents' home, now in Nuenen, where he remains for the next two years.

1884
   MAY. Rents a studio from the sexton of the Roman Catholic church. Ten-day visit from Van Rappard.
   AUGUST. Begins working on a commission for a decorative scheme for the dining room of a retired goldsmith, named Herroans, in Eindhoven.
   SEPTEMBER. Love affair with an older woman who lives next door, Margo Begemann, leads to scandal and her attempted suicide.
   OCTOBER. Ten-day visit from Van Rappard.
   NOVEMBER. Begins giving painting lessons to three people in Eindhoven: Hermans; Willem de Wakker, a postal worker; and Anton C. Kerssemakers (1846-1926), a tanner and amateur artist who becomes a close friend.

1885
   26 MARCH. Father dies.
   1 MAY. Takes up residence at his studio.
   His work receives some attention in Paris; endeavors to enlist the support of French painter Charles-Emmanuel Serret (1894-1900) and dealer Arsène Portier (d. 1902).
   AUGUST. A paint dealer, Leurs, agrees to exhibit some of his work in two shop windows in his store on the Molenstraat in The Hague.
   OCTOBER. Three-day visit to Amsterdam to study the paintings in the Rijksmuseum; especially admires Rembrandt and Hals.
   LATE NOVEMBER. Leaves for Antwerp. Rents a room over a paint shop on 194 (now 224), rue des Images, which he decorates with Japanese prints.

1886
   JANUARY. Enrolls at the Academy at Antwerp on the 18th. Studies painting and drawing under Charles Verlat (1824-1890) and Eugène Sieberdt (1851-1931). Meets fellow students Victor Hageman (1868-1938), H.M. Levens 1862-1936), and Richard Baseleer (b. 1867). At night, works from live models.
   CA. 28 FEBRUARY. Arrives in Paris, where he meets his brother Theo, a dealer in Barbizon and hnpressionist paintings for the firm of Boussod & Valadon (Goupil's successors), at the Louvre.
   Moves into Theo's apartment at 25, rue Laval (now rue Victor-Massé).
   SPRING AND/OR FALL. Studies at the atelier of Fernand-Anne Piestre, called Cormon (1845-1924). Works from models and plaster casts. Meets fellow students Louis Anquetin (1861-1932), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), and John Russell (1858-1931).
   Abandons somber palette; experiments with complementary colors.
   SUMMER. Moves with Theo to 54, rue Lepic in Montmartre.
   Recovers from dental operation and stomach problems.
   The art dealer Portier takes four paintings on commission; introduces Vincent to Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927).
   Friendship with Camille Pissarro (1831-1903); meets his son, Lucien (1863-1944).
   FALL. Proposes, unsuccessfully, an exchange of works with Charles Angrand (1854-1926).
   Meets the Scottish artist A. S. Hartrick (1864-1950) at John Russell's studio.
   Frequents the shop of Julien "père" Tanguy (1825-1894) at 14, rue Clauzel, where he meets Emile Bernard (1868-1941); they exchange paintings in commemoration of their first meeting.
   Meets, possibly, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)--but perhaps not until the fall of 1887.
   LATE DECEMBER. Theo falls ill.

1887
   JANUARY--FEBRUARY. Meets Paul Signac (1863-1935). Receives two portrait commissions from Tanguy.
   Frequents the shop of Samuel Bing, a dealer in oriental art, from whom he purchases many Japanese prints.
   FEBRUARY--MARCH. Organizes an exhibition of Japanese prints at the café Le Tambourin, a cabaret owned by a former artist's model, Agostina Segatori, at 62, boulevard de Clichy. Meets Scottish art dealer Alexander Reid (1854-1928).
   SPRING. Painting outings with Signac along the banks of the Seine at Asnières and St. Ouen.
   SUMMER-FALL. Paints with Bernard at Asnières.
   NOVEMBER-DECEMBER. Organizes a group exhibition of the "Petit Boulevard," including a number of his own paintings and those of Bernard, Anquetin, Lautrec, A. H. Koning (1860-1944), and possibly Guillaumin, at the Grand BouillonRestaurant du Chalet, 43, avenue du Clichy.
   Meets Georges Seurat (1859-1891).
   Along with Seurat and Signac, accepts invitation of André Antoine (1858-1943) to hang their paintings in the "salle de répétition" of the newly founded Théâtre Libre, 96, rue Blanche.

1888
   19 FEBRUARY. Before leaving Paris, visits Seurat's studio with Theo.
   20 FEBRUARY. Arrives in Arles. Takes a room at the Hôtel Restaurant Carrel at 30, rue Cavalerie.
   MARCH. Meets the Danish artist Christian Vilhehn MourierPetersen (1858-1954), who becomes his companion for the next two months.
   22 MARCH-3 MAY. Exhibits three paintings with the Société des Artistes Indépendants.
   APRIL. Visited by the American painter Dodge Macknight 1860-1950), who is staying at the nearby village of Fontvieille.
   1 MAY. Rents four rooms as a studio in the "Yellow House," 2, Place Lamartine. Visits Macknight in Fontvieille. Following a dispute over his bill, finds lodgings at another hotel, Café de la Gare, run by Joseph (1836-1902) and Marie (1848-1911) Ginoux, 30, Place Lamartine, where he stays until September.
   Executes a series of drawings at Montmajour (does a second series in July).
   30 MAY-3 JUNE. Spends five days at the nearby fishing village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
   JUNE. Becomes acquainted with the Zouave, Paul-Eugene Milliet, to whom he gives drawing lessons, and Macknight's friend, the Belgian artist Eugene Boch (1855-1941).
   JULY. Meets the postmaster, Joseph Roulin (1841-1903), who becomes a dear friend.
   Macknight visits him in Arles; by August, he visits regularly.
   16 SEPTEMBER. Moves into the Yellow House.
   23 OCTOBER. Gauguin arrives in Arles.
   NOVEMBER. At Gauguin's urging, experiments with painting from memory.
   MID-DECEMBER. Together with Gauguin, visits the Alfred Bruyas collection at the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, noted for its impressive collection of works by Delacroix and Courbet.
   23 DECEMBER. Following a quarrel with Gauguin, severs the lower part of his ear and presents it to a woman named Rachel at the "maison de tolérance, No. 1."
   24 DECEMBER. Discovered in critical state by police; admitted to the local hospital, Hôtel Dieu, where he is attended to by Dr. Fé1ix Rey (1867-1932). Theo is summoned to Arles.
   26 DECEMBER. Theo, probably in the company of Gauguin, returns to Paris.

1889
   7 JANUARY. Returns to the Yellow House. Begins painting the following day.
   7-17 FEBRUARY. Hospitalized for ten days following an attack during which he has had hallucinations and has feared he was being poisoned.
   CA. 25 FEBRUARY. Petition of some thirty neighbors leads to police investigation and his subsequent internment in a hospital cell; the Yellow House is closed by the police.
   23-24 MARCH. Visited by Signac, who is en route to Cassis. Begins painting again the following week.
   17 APRIL. Theo marries Johanna Bonger (1862-1925) in the Netherlands.
   8 MAY. By his own choice, Vincent leaves Arles in the company of Reverend Frédéric Salles for the asylum of Saint-Paulde-Mausole in Saint-Rémy. Here he is diagnosed by the attending physician, Dr. Théophile Peyron, as suffering from an epileptic disorder.
   Receives permission to work in the garden and environs of the hospital.
   EARLY JULY. One-day visit to Arles to fetch a group of paintings not yet dry when he left. Shortly afterward, he has an attack while painting outside; works indoors for the next six weeks.
   3 SEPTEMBER-4 OCTOBER. Two paintings, Irises and Starry Night on the Rhône, are included in the Indépendants exhibition in Paris.
   NOVEMBER. Spends two days in Arles, where he visits Reverend Salles and M. and Mme. Ginoux.
   DECEMBER. Suffers a week-long relapse.

1890
   JANUARY. G.-Albert Aurier's pioneering article, "Les Isolés: Vincent van Gogh," is published in the Mercure de France.
   JANUARY--FEBRUARY. Six paintings are included in the exhibition of Les Vingt in Brussels.
   LATE FEBRUARY. Visits his sick friend, Mine. Ginoux, in Arles. Suffers another attack following his visit.
   31 JANUARY, Birth of Theo's son, Vincent Wilhelm.
   LATE FEBRUARY. Suffers a severe attack during a two-day visit to Arles and is brought back to the hospital. Remains quite ill through April.
   19 MARCH--27 APRIL Exhibits ten paintings with the Indépendants in Paris.
   MAY. Leaves asylum on the 16th. Spends four days in Paris with Theo and his family before leaving for Auvers. Receives several visitors, probably Tanguy, Lautrec, Pissarro, and Guillaumin. Visits the Salon, where he admires Puvis de Chavannes' works.
   20 MAY. Arrives in Auvers, where he remains under the care and supervision of Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet (1828-1909). Takes up lodgings at an inn owned by Arthur Gustave Ravoux.
   8 JUNE. Visited by Theo and his family. Experiments with etching.
   16 JUNE. Meets Dutch artist Anton Hirschig (1867-1939), who upon his arrival in Auvers takes an adjacent room at Ravoux's inn.
   6 JULY. Short visit to Paris. Visits Aurier and Lautrec. Sees Gauguin's recent work.
   27 JULY. Shoots himself in the Auvers countryside and returns to the inn, wounded.
   29 JULY. Dies with Theo by his side, 1:30 A.M.
   30 JULY: Burial at the cemetery at Auvers attended by Bernard, Andries Bonger (1822-1897), Gachet, Charles Laval (1862-1904), A.-M. Lauzet (1865-1898), Lucien Pissarro, père Tanguy, and others.
   AUGUST--SEPTEMBER. Theo solicits Bernard's help in organizing a showing of Vincent's works in his Montmartre apartment.
   OCTOBER. Theo becomes seriously ill and is taken to Holland following his breakdown.

1891
   25 JANUARY. Theo dies in Utrecht, the Netherlands.


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