Workshop Theo de Vries

For the series of head studies Vincent produced in the winter of 1884-1885, he most likely applied a perspective frame. He has been using such a frame since 1882, which makes it easier to transfer the composition to the support in the correct proportions. Presumably he has a new perspective frame made by local contractor and carpenter Theodorus de Vries (1836-1890).

De Vries' surviving cash book notes for the Van Gogh family on March 8, 1884: 'Frame with window made 1.00' and '2 planks made teeken 1.30' where 'Son' is mentioned. Three pages of notes for 'Dominie Van Gogh' give an insight into what De Vries made for the family, with the 'Boy Lord' Vincent also mentioned.

For the Van Gogh home, the carpenter repaired chairs and cribs, made crutches for mother after her broken leg, and in May 1884 removed the mangle from upstairs and set it downstairs - presumably after Vincent's studio left the former mangle room. No notes on the year 1883 have survived, but it is very likely that the preparation of Vincent's studio in the rectory's mangle room was also done by De Vries.

Vincent must have visited him regularly, and since he had objects made according to instructions, he must have been in close contact at times. Theo de Vries lived at the current address Berg 34, close to the rectory. Vincent's sister Lies therefore writes in her memoirs about the "neighbor carpenter.

The dwelling house and the workshop behind it date from 1872. Two adjacent plots of land come into the possession of a blacksmith and his wife in that year; they demolish the houses and build one new house with a workshop for the blacksmith. They sell the whole property to Theo de Vries in 1876. The address probably also contains an inn; it is not out of the question that Vincent might borrow beer mugs or other stoneware for still lifes. The two brothers of De Vries are also carpenters, living in their parental home on Heieind F535, now Park 35.