Old Town Hall Etten

Vincent registered as an "artist" for the first time in April 1881. He did so in the Council House of Etten, now called the Old Council House. This stately building dates from 1776 to the design of Philips Willem Schonk, master builder in the service of Stadholder Prince William V (Baron of Breda) who also designed the new tower of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Vincent's parents allowed him to set up a studio in the annex of the rectory. I hope to make as many studies as I can because that is the seed from which drawings will come later.'

He set to work enthusiastically and, for practice, made numerous copies after prints by Jean-François Millet and study methods by Charles Bargues. He asks the gardener, the sexton and other people from his immediate surroundings to pose for him in poses he sees in the peasant painter Millet, of sowers and spitters. When the weather is good, he goes outside. He tells Theo: "When it is not raining I go outside every day, mostly on the moors. I make my studies quite large as you have already seen during your visit. For instance, I made a hut on the Heike & also that shed with a moss roof on the Roozendaalschen road which they call the Protestant shed here. Thou mayest remember what I mean. Then the mill just opposite on that meadow & the elm trees in the cemetery. And another with lumberjacks working on a vast plain where a large mast has been felled. And further I try to draw such implements as cart, plow, harrow, wheelbarrow &c &c.'


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4875 CB Etten-Leur
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