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Relationship Information, Quotes, and Trivia
Where and/or how did Vincent van Gogh and Sien Hoornik meet?
Why did Vincent van Gogh and Sien Hoornik break up?
Other Relationship Information about Vincent van Gogh and Sien Hoornik:
In January 1882, he settled in The Hague where he called on his cousin in law, the painter Anton Mauve (1838 to 88) who was a Dutch realist painter and a leading member of the Hague School. Mauve introduced him to painting in both oil and watercolor and lent him money to set up a studio; however the two soon fell out, possibly over the issue of drawing from plaster casts. Mauve appears to have suddenly gone cold towards Van Gogh and did not return a number of his letters. Van Gogh supposed that Mauve had learned of his new domestic arrangement with an alcoholic prostitute, Clasina Maria "Sien" Hoornik (1850 to 1904) and her young daughter. He had met Sien towards the end of January, when she had a five year old daughter and was pregnant. She had already had two children who had died, although Van Gogh was unaware of this. On 2 July, Sien gave birth to a baby boy, Willem. When Van Gogh's father discovered the details of their relationship, he put considerable pressure on his son to abandon Sien and her children. Vincent was at first defiant in the face of opposition.
Van Gogh's art dealer uncle, Cornelis, commissioned 20 ink drawings of the city, which the artist completed by the end of May. That June, he spent three weeks in a hospital suffering from gonorrhea. That summer he began to paint in oil. In autumn 1883, after a year together, he left Sien and the two children. Van Gogh had thought of moving the family from the city, but in the end made the break. It is possible that lack of money had pushed Sien back to prostitution the home had become a less happy one, and likely Van Gogh felt family life was irreconcilable with his artistic development.
When Vincent left, Sien gave her daughter to her mother and baby Willem to her brother. She then moved to Delft, and later to Antwerp. Willem remembered being taken to visit his mother in Rotterdam at around the age of 12, where his uncle tried to persuade Sien to marry in order to legitimize the child. Willem remembered his mother saying, "But I know who the father is. He was an artist I lived with nearly 20 years ago in The Hague. His name was Van Gogh." She then turned to Willem and said "You are called after him." While Willem believed himself to be Van Gogh's son, the timing of his birth makes this unlikely. In 1904, Sien drowned herself in the river Scheldt. Van Gogh moved to the Dutch province of Drenthe, in the northern Netherlands. That December, driven by loneliness, he went to stay with his parents who were by then living in Nuenen, North Brabant.