sudden death, come, van gogh.1


Br. 1990: 491 | CL: -
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Eindhoven, Friday, 27 March 1885

1. Mr van Gogh died of a stroke in the evening of Thursday, 26 March. The only known eyewitness account of this was given by Willemien: ‘Pa went out in the morning healthy and in the evening he came home and as he came in the door he collapsed without giving any further sign of life. It was terrible. I shall never forget that night. It happened at half-past seven in the evening. Cor was in Helmond and didn’t get home until half-past one in the morning; oh, it was so dreadful. I hope that you will be preserved from ever experiencing something like that.’ This letter was sent to her friend Line Kruysse (FR b4536. Breda, 26 August 1886).
Theo set out for Nuenen the same day and arrived there on 28 March. Andries Bonger told his father H.C. Bonger about it: ‘Never have I taken a friend to the Gare du Nord in more melancholy circumstances than on Friday of last week. My friend Van Gogh had heard the news that morning that his father had suffered a sudden stroke and died. He had received a letter from him just the day before in which he said he was perfectly well. Van Gogh himself is not very strong; so you can understand the state he was in when he left.’ (FR b1811. Paris, 31 March 1885).