News Etten-Leur

Unkown Van Gogh drawings discoverd

Recently three drawings by Vincent van Gogh, made in Etten (-Leur), were discoverd. The drawings are interesting because they are new and were totally unknown. Something like this is very rare nowadays. Van Gogh made the drawings in the fall of 1881, at the beginning of his artistic career. Two years later the painter sent them in a book to his friend Anthon van Rappard. After the latter died at the age of 33 in 1892, the book and bookmark remained in the possession of his family. In 2019 they sold the possessions to the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam. The museum considers the drawings to be special acquisitions.

According to Van Gogh expert Martin Bailey of The Art Newspaper, Van Gogh chose a very special format, a vertical strip of paper. The drawings were found in a book and they had exactly the same length as the book, 28 centimeters long and 5 centimeters wide. This not only makes it look like a bookmark, it is strongly suspected - says Teio Meedendorp, senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum, that Van Gogh had also intended it to be a bookmark.

The three drawings show a woman walking along a row of pollard willows, a man by a fire and a woman sitting down. These are all motifs that Van Gogh repeated, refined and painted later in his life. 

The pencil drawings are part of the exhibition 'Unprecedented. 10 years of special acquisitions and their stories' in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. On view until 12 September.


Tourist Information Centre Etten-Leur, in collaboration with the Vincent van Gogh Etten-Leur Foundation, has taken the initiative to create a special replica Van Gogh bookmark. On one side the Van Gogh drawings are displayed and on the other side three special photos, taken by volunteer Ria Mol. The photos were taken with local models (Van Gogh volunteers) in almost the same clothes as Van Gogh's models, who also strike almost the same pose. The bookmark is also almost the same size as the original. A collector's item, therefore.

Visit the Van Gogh Church Etten-Leur now and receive not only a free city tour, but also this unique bookmark!