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Vincent van Gogh in Dordrecht
During the second half of the nineteen sixties I did a lot of sketching and painting outdoors, especially in the old center of Dordrecht, Holland. In that last decade considerable parts of the old heart of the city were being demolished. When I was sketching near the ruins of the Jewish synagogue near the Varkensmarkt and the Tolbrugstraat, the painter Cor Noltee who was also painting there, pointed out the house where Vincent van Gogh lived during his stay in Dordrecht in 1877. It was one of the two last standing houses. I made a sketch of the two builings. But from that I made two paintings and the linocut shown here.
Since a print usually mirrors the block or plate, I have mirrored it below to show how it was.
To the left of the two houses one now has a view of the tower of the Dordrecht Grotekerk as van Gogh would have seen it from his window on the upper level of the house on the right.
the view Vincent from van Gogh's window
Below is the view Vincent van Gogh had from his window in 1877. Before the house on the right (above) was finally demolished I went inside to look in the upper rooms and even unscrewed a knob from a closet in the rear room. I'm sure I still have it somewhere.
Vincent liked to make walks at night along the Varkenmarkt and Houttuinen, around the Great Church (Grote Kerk) and back along the Pottenkade, Grotekerksbuurt and Wijnstraat. In one of his letters to Theo - Br. 1990: 102 | CL: 85 From: Vincent van Gogh To: Theo van Gogh Date: Dordrecht, Wednesday, 7 and Thursday, 8 February 1877 - "Coming from the shop between 12 and 1 at night, I took another turn around the Grote Kerk.3 The wind was blowing hard in the elm trees surrounding it, and the moon shone through the rain-clouds and reflected in the canals that were already filled to the brim."