Vincent van Gogh - Moissonneur à la faucille (d'après Jean -François Millet) - ca1880 - Dessin - 55,5 x 30,5 cm © Uehara Museum of Modern Art, Shimoda, Japan
EDITORIAL MAkinG VAn GoGh’s hEritAGE in EuropE AVAiLABLE
B 10 C 6 2 3 1 16
Van Gogh locations and museums in 4 countries 1 2 3 4
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9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
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Locations Zundert (1853-1864 & 1868-1869) Zevenbergen (1864-1866) Tilburg (1866-1868) Den Haag (1869-1873 & 1881-1883) London (1873-1875) Helvoirt (1874) Paris (1874 & 1875-1876) Ramsgate (1876) Isleworth (1876) Dordrecht (1877) Amsterdam (1877-1878) Brussels (1878 & 1880-1881) Borinage (1878-1880) Etten-Leur (1881) Drenthe (1883) Nuenen (1883-1885) Antwerp (1885-1886) Paris (1886-1888) Arles (1888-1889) Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (1889-1890) Auvers-sur-Oise (1889-1890) Museums Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo Het Noordbrabants Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch Mons 2015 / BAM (Museum of Fine Arts), Mons Musée d’Orsay, Paris Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles
MorE inForMAtion: www.VAnGoGhEuropE.Eu
If people were asked to name a few artists, chances are Van Gogh would be a recurring answer. And for good reason: both his tumultuous life and his dazzling works have left us an indelible mark, especially upon us, the people of Mons and the Borinage, who are forever bound to the image of this immense artist. It was here, in the Borinage, that he gave up preaching and became an artist; it was here that he traded his bible for the paintbrush, as he wrote himself in a letter to his brother Theo. His stay in our region was brief but intense, from December 1878 to October 1880, just like his career, which was short, but marked by outstanding continuity and expression. Of Van Gogh’s stay in the Borinage - which is too often overlooked in textbooks - there remain traces which can allow you follow the footsteps of this outstanding artist. Among them, I particularly recommend you to discover 2 houses that have been magnificently brought back to life for MONS 2015 EC Culture in order to offer you a historical, artistic and symbolic journey back into the days of Van Gogh. First, the house in Wasmes, where Van Gogh lived in a room with a view on the Marcasse coal mine before moving into a little hut where he stayed a while to experience the miserable living conditions of coalminers. Then, the house in Cuesmes, where he moved into a little room until October 1880. Both houses bare witness to the region’s coal-mining history and allowed the man to become the artist we all know. But these are not the only marks Van Gogh left here, far from it! You can download our Visit Mons app to enrich your touristic experience in the area. It includes a geolocation tour - « in the footsteps of Van Gogh » along with numerous possibilities for guided tours which will allow you to better understand how the artist Van Gogh came to be. We wish you all a pleasant read.
Nicolas MARTIN President of Mons Regional Tourist Office 1st Deputy Mayor of Mons
3h AMSTERDAM 3h
Chemins de fer Autoroutes Aéroports
Vincent van Gogh Moissonneur à la faucille (d'après Jean -François Millet) ca1880 - Dessin - 55,5 x 30,5 cm © Uehara Museum of Modern Art, Shimoda, Japan
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From Mons to: Brussels ..........................................56 Km Namur............................................. 76 Km Gent.................................................92 Km Antwerp......................................... 103 Km Bruges............................................ 119 Km
Cologne.........................................242 Km Paris...............................................250 Km Amsterdam...................................275 Km London...........................................337 Km
By train : There are two direct trains linking Brussels to Mons every hour. Find national train timetables here : www.belgianrail.be By plane : Brussels South Airport, located in Charleroi is 30 minutes from Mons by car. It serves some 100 international destinations. Ryanair, Jetairfly, Wizzair, Pegasus and Thomas Cook all offer direct flights : www.charleroi-airport.com Brussels Airport, the country’s main international airport, is only 50 minutes from Mons. It serves 163 short-flight destinations as well as 41 long-haul destinations. www.brusselsairport.be
in the footsteps of Van Gogh in the Borinage Grand-Place, 27 – 7000 Mons / Phone: +32 (0) 6533.55.80 / Website : www.visitmons.be / E-mail : info. firstname.lastname@example.org / Published by Mons Tourist Office / Production : Quentin Dardenne / Text : Caroline Dumoulin / Proofreading : Marie Bertouil, Arnaud Godart, Filip Depuydt, Xavière Minet, Laurence Van Oost / Publisher : Natacha Vandenberghe, Directrice / Printer : IPM Printing / Graphics : Okidoki The timetables, prices and information in this guide are provided for information only, on the basis of the data given by the respective facilities in décembre 2015. In no way does this guide constitute a contract, and the publisher cannot be held responsible for changes made after publication. The Tourist Office is not responsible for any mistakes, unintentional omissions or later modifications, which may occur in spite of all the care taken by the Tourist Office. The Tourist Office wishes to thank its partners as well as the people who participated in the production of this guide.
Timeline............................................................. 6 VAN GOGH IN THE BORINAGE........................ 8 VAN GOGH TRAIL............................................. 11 1. VAN GOGH HOUSE IN CUESMES.......................... 12 2. FORMER TRAIN STATION OF PATURAGES................. 14 3. THE MARCASSE SITE.......................................... 15 4. THE DENIS HOUSE IN WASMES............................. 16 5. GRAND-HORNU SITE......................................... 18 TO SEE MORE................................................... 20 6. Salon du bébé.............................................. 20 7. VAN GOGH’S BUST ......................................... 21
BY OSSIP ZADKINE (1890-1967)
8. TEMPLE OF PETIT-WASMES................................. 22 9. THE AGRAPPE COAL MINE................................. 23 10. THE QUINQUET............................................... 24 11. «LA GAGANE» SLAG HEAP................................. 24 12. PASS............................................................ 25
With the support of the General Commission for Tourism of the Walloon Region and the Federation of Tourism of the Province of Hainaut.
Timeline 30th March 1853 BIRTH
AT THE ART GALLERY
In 1869, his family’s connections helped him obtain a position with the art dealer Goupil & Cie in The Hague. He was later transferred to the Paris and London branches.
After Goupil & Cie terminated his employment, he worked successively as a supply teacher and a Methodist minister’s assistant in England. Upon his return to the Netherlands, he worked as a clerk in a bookshop and then studied Theology in Amsterdam.
FROM WASMES TO CUESMES
On February the 1st, he was appointed as a preacher for a 6-month period in Wasmes, but this appointment was not renewed either. He then moved to Cuesmes, where he volunteered as a preacher. At this time, the relations with his family deteriorated, he started neglecting himself and sank into depression.
ARTISTIC TRAINING Following his brother Theo’s advice, Vincent decided to become an artist. He would copy Jean-François Millet’s engravings or illustrations taken from Charles Bargue’s cours de dessin (drawing course). In October, He settled in Brussels where he registered at the Royal Academy of fine arts to attend drawing courses.
ARTISTIC TURNING POINT After attending courses at the Antwerp Academy for a short while, Vincent van Gogh left for Paris in March 1886. There, he moved in with his brother Theo and pursued his training in Fernand Cormon’s studio. His encounter with impressionist and neoimpressionist works and Japanese engravings fundamentally changed his pictorial style and the way he used colors.
LOOKING FOR LIGHT In February, seeking “air and light”, Van Gogh moved to Arles, where his pictorial style reached its full maturity. In October, Paul Gauguin joined him and moved in with him, in the maison jaune. (yellow house). Their incompatible characters and artistic conceptions caused tensions to build up. In late December, Van Gogh suffered his first crisis: in an act of madness, he sliced off a piece of his ear.
IN THE PSYCHIATRIC ASYLUM
He then abandoned his studies and was accepted for a 3-month trial period at a Protestant missionary school in Laeken (near Brussels). After failing to obtain the final admission, he moved to the Borinage to dedicate himself to preaching the gospel to coalminers.
After Theo was appointed as manager of Goupil & Cie’s Paris branch, on Boulevard Montmartre, he was able to cater to Vincent’s needs. In return, Vincent would send him his works. Van Gogh was now experimenting with various graphic materials and decided to take up painting. In many studies, he would depict the farming population. His first major character study was Les Mangeurs de pommes de terre (the potato eaters).
Vincent Willem van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert. He was the eldest son of Theodorus van Gogh, a pastor, and Anna Cornelia van Gogh-Carbentus. Five other siblings were to follow: Anna (1855), Theo (1857), Elisabeth (1859), Willemien (1862) and Cor (1867).
After several bouts of insanity, Van Gogh was interned in the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole mental asylum, near Saint-Rémy. In his lucid intervals, he continued to paint and draw. His style gained more rhythm and became more vivid, his palette softened.
BRUTAL DEATH In May, Van Gogh left for Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, where he embarked on new stylistic and chromatic experiments. On July the 27th, he shot himself a bullet in the chest. He was to succumb to his injuries 2 days later, with Theo at his side. He was buried in Antwerp.
Vincent van Gogh, Mineurs dans la neige, 1880, dessin, 44 x 55 cm. © Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
VAN GOGH IN THE BORINAGE A bit of HISTORY…
The history of the Borinage is intricately linked to that of coal-mining. The word Borinage itself was coined from the term borin, which referred to the coalminers of Northern France and the Mons area. The latter term now refers to the population of an area which is greener than it might seem at first sight: the “borains”. Industrial coal-mining has its roots in the nature of the region’s soils, which were mined as early as the 13th century. Coal-mining in the Borinage reached its peak at the time of the industrial revolution, in the 19th century. At that time, finding new coal deposits required sending miners ever deeper underground. Every now and then, an accidental gas explosion in the mine, called “coup de grisou” (firedamp), would occur. These times were characterized by misery and social unrest, even though the Borinage was then the largest coal basin in Europe. It was in this historical setting that Vincent van Gogh first set foot in the Borinage.
VAN gogh IN the borinage Utterly convinced of his messianic vocation and further influenced by his readings, Van Gogh found what he sensed would be the ideal place for his mission of evangelization: the Borinage. First, he arrived in Pâturages in December 1878. A few weeks later he decided to settle in Wasmes where he was appointed as a preacher for a 6-month trial period in February 1879. After his employment was terminated - mainly because of his poor rhetorical skills - Van Gogh decided to settle in Cuesmes in August 1879, to volunteer as a preacher. He was first housed by an evangelist teacher named Edouard Joseph Francq, 5 Rue du Pavillon. 7 Months later he moved in with the family of the foreman of the coalmines, Charles Decrucq, 3 rue du pavillon, in the house now known as the “maison Van Gogh”. There, he rented a room until October 1880. His contract not being renewed by the Flemish college of evangelists in Brussels was perceived by his family as yet another failure. Worried for his future, they advised him to seek another vocation. Deeply hurt by the remark, Van Gogh ceased all correspondence with them for nearly a year. During this period, he faced a deep identity crisis as he didn’t know what to make of his life or how to regain his family’s trust.
Vincent van Gogh, Usine de coke au Borinage, 1879, dessin, 26,4 x 37,5 cm. © Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The lack of correspondence over this period makes it difficult to know exactly how he spent his time. However drawing seems to have taken up the greater part of his days. His subjects of inspiration were the people around him – including the Decrucq family – or the surroundings, as can be seen in one of the few drawings remaining from that time: l’usine de coke, la Gagane à Flénu, dated summer 1879. In June 1880, Van Gogh reluctantly resumed his correspondence with his brother Theo to thank him for his financial support, tell him about the impasse he was in, and ask him how he could make himself useful. In a letter dated August 1880, Van Gogh wrote about his intention to become an artist. At that time, he practiced drawing relentlessly to aquire the skills of the trade, aided in this endeavour by Armand-Theophile Cassagne’s “Guide de l’alphabet du dessin” (the ABC of drawing), which he studied assiduously. His brother Theo encouraged him to persevere in this way and regularly sent him copies of engravings and works from artists he admired, such as Jean-François Millet, or painters’ handbooks, such as Charles Barques’s exercices au fusain (charcoal drawing exercises) and cours de dessin (drawing courses). Very soon, the room Van Gogh was renting from the Decrucqs started to feel a bit cramped. He therefore left the Borinage for Brussels in November 1880 in order to surround himself with other artists and to pursue his artistic training, in the hope of correcting his technical deficiencies.
There remain very few of the works he produced during this time as Van Gogh himself destroyed most of them. Of the ones that are attested, we could name: • L’usine de coke La Gagane à Flénu (The coke factory la gagagne in Flénu), produced in the summer of 1879, currently in the Van Gogh museum, Amsterdam. • Mineurs dans la neige (Miners in the snow), “scrawls” enclosed with the letter to his brother Theo dated September 1880. • Le moissoneur (The reaper), (inspired from Jean-François Millet’s works), currently at the Uehera Museum of Modern Art, Japan. • Les Maisons “Magros” et “Zandemnik” (The “magros” and “Zandmennik” houses), drawings given to Charles Decrucq, currently in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. • Les bêcheurs (The diggers), (inspired from Jean-François Millet’s works), which is part of the city of Mons’ collections, was produced during his stay in Brussels. The original is currently in the Artothèque (Art Library) of Mons.
© Vincent van Gogh, Les Bêcheurs, (d’après Jean-François Millet), 1880, Dessin, 35x55 cm, Collections Ville de Mons, MBA.1019 © Collections Ville de Mons / Atelier de l’Imagier
Three other ways of rediscovering Van gogh ! 1
Using our Visit Mons app - downloadable for free on the Apple Store and on Google Play – you will be able to discover our tour, “in the footsteps of Van Gogh”. You will also be able to find all the information you need to enjoy your stay in the Mons area and discover its many shops, sites, museums and events... A very handy application that will allow you to find the best deals: a definite must-have.
If you wish to learn more about Van Gogh, why don’t you try one of our guided tours ? Let one of our guides take you in the footsteps of Van Gogh in the Borinage. The tour includes stops in the houses of Cuesmes and Wasmes where he lived (Pages 12 and 16).
VAN GOGH TRAIL After failing to complete several training courses and aborting several successive career choices as an art dealer, a teacher, a bookseller and a preacher, Vincent van Gogh eventually decided to set out on an artistic career. And it was in the mining area west of Mons that he made his very first steps.
echo of the patterns inspired from the area: the daily lives of miners, workers, peasants, weavers, as well as their modest housing. In his later days in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Auvers-sur-Oise, Van Gogh still enjoyed copying the engravings of artists that inspired him in his early days, such as those of Jean-François Millet.
The Borinage is not just the place where Van Gogh the artist was born. It was also here that he first framed his artistic conceptions. In his later works, one can still perceive the
Relive this critical period in Van Gogh’s life by following his trail in the Borinage and discover the various locations that marked the artist during his stay here.
Prices Group price Van Gogh House in Cuesmes (minimum 10 people): €3 Guided tour of the house (45 Minutes): 50€/guide from Tuesday to Saturday, €65/ guide on Sundays and on public holidays – Maximum 20 people/guide. Guided tour (1 hour 30) : 65€/guide from Tuesday to Saturday, €80/guide on Sundays and on public holidays – Maximum 20 people/guide. Information and reservations: +32 (0) 65/40.53.48 – email@example.com
Walk into our visitMons shop - Grand-Place 22 à 7000 Mons – where you’ll find many items and souvenirs of all kinds, including a collection of items dedicated to Van Gogh. You’ll be able to get The DVD of Vincente Minnelli’s classic biography of Van Gogh “lust for life” (which has just been remastered for Mons 2015), the art book “masterpieces in the Van Gogh Museum” or the catalogue of our recent exhibition “Van Gogh in the Borinage, birth of an artist” (in 3 languages: French, Dutch and English) as well as many other souvenirs well worth checking out. Shop visitMons Grand-Place 22 7000 Mons Phone : +32(0)65/40.53.68
« Experience has taught us that those who work in darkness, in the heart of the earth, like the mine-workers in the black coalmines, among others, are very moved by the message of the gospel and also believe it. In the south of Belgium, in Hainaut, from around the area of Mons to the French borders and even extending far beyond them, there is a region called the Borinage[...]. I should like to go there as an evangelist ». Vincent to Theo van Gogh. On or about the 13th & 15-16th November 1878.
© Droits réservés
The pavilion’s new scenography allows us to discover the context of Van Gogh’s arrival in our region and his itinerary during these two years. It also gives us an overview of this “pays noir” (black country) called the Borinage. The visit continues in the house itself, where the mind of its illustrious inhabitant can express itself in a simple and sober fashion.
« For example, to name one passion among others, I have a more or less irresistible passion for books, and I have a need continually to educate myself, to study, if you like, precisely as I need to eat my bread ». Vincent to Theo van Gogh. Between about Tuesday, 22 and Thursday, 24 June 1880.
Discover replicas of the works he produced while in this house, such as l’usine à coke à Flénu (the coke factory), la maison Magros (the magros house), la maison Zandemnik (the zandemnik house) and les bécheurs (the diggers) inspired from Jean-François Millet’s works, the original of which, acquired by the City of Mons, can be discovered in the Artothèque (art Library) of Mons (Rue Claude de Bettignies, 1). The books Vincent van Gogh Consulted while in the Borinage, and which marked him so deeply, are displayed in a showcase: Armand Cassagne’s famous Drawing instruction books, which enabled him to perfect his pencil stroke; books about the Borinage, such as Adolphe Siret’s historical accounts of Belgium; as well as his favorite readings from Charles Dickens or Emile Zola.
Maison Van Gogh @ Christian Carpentier
Maison Van Gogh @ Droits réservés
VAN GOGH HOUSE IN CUESMES Having been abandoned for nearly a century, The Van Gogh House almost disappeared due to the poor condition it was in. On January the 3rd 1972, The City of Mons, determined to save this place of memory from ruin, acquired the house. 3 years of rehabilitation work, from 2005 to 2007, made it possible for a reception pavilion to be set up. Unfortunately, moisture problems due to repeated flooding prevented the pavilion from 12
welcoming visitors in optimal conditions. The City of Mons therefore decided to further renovate the house and completely rethink the scenographic project. The scenography for the house and the pavilion was rethought to enable visitors to experience Van Gogh’s daily life during his stay in the Borinage, from 1878 to 1880.
The facsimile of one of his letters will then allow to enter the painter’s mind and an interactive terminal will allow you to browse trough the letters he wrote in Wasmes, Cuesmes and Brussels.
Maison Van Gogh © Jean-François Berhin
I Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10AM to 4PM Prices Full : €4 Reduced : €3 (young people between 12 and 25, seniors, groups...) Family : €2 Children : €1
Van Gogh House in Cuesmes
Complete this journey back in time with a recreation of the interior of the house, as it was in Van Gogh’s days and a video projection which closes the visit and which will allow you to learn even more, should your thirst for knowledge not yet be quenched.
Rue du Pavillon, 3 7033 Cuesmes +32(0)65/35.56.11 firstname.lastname@example.org
All the new scenography for the Pavilion and the house is available in three languages (French, Dutch and English).
Latitude (N) : 50.441392 Longitude (E) : 3.924935
MARCASSE SITE Evidence that Vincent van Gogh passed by the Marcasse coalmining site can be found in a letter to his brother Theo dated April 1879.
« I went on a very interesting excursion not long ago; the fact is, I spent 6 hours in a mine. In one of the oldest and most dangerous mines in the area no less, called Marcasse[…]. We went down together, 700 metres deep this time, and went into the most hidden corners of that underworld[…]. Looking upward, the daylight appears to be about as big as a star in the sky ».
© visitMons / Gregory Mathelot
@ Droits réservés
FORMER TRAIN STATION OF PATURAGES It was at this station that Van Gogh first set foot in the Borinage, when he got off the train in Pâturages. He then stayed there for several weeks before moving to wasmes for his trial period as a preacher. In the 19th century, the railway network of Hainaut was quite extensive. Pâturages, Wasmes ans Cuesmes had all been connected by rail to Mons and, therefore, to the main railway lines in the area; namely the railway lines connecting Mons to Brussels (inaugurated in 1841), Mons to Valenciennes (via Quiévrain, opened in 1842), Mons to Charleroi (via Manage, operational as of 1849) and Mons to Paris (via Haumont, put into service in 1857). The station in Pâturages was built in a Flemish Neo-Renaissance style. Its main building, which features crow-step gables, housed
@ Droits réservés
the station master, the revenue office, a waiting hall… As for cargo; in addition to coal, raw and finished metals would also be carried to Pâturages. Line 98 was finally closed in 1984 and its buildings were purchased by an architect, who fully restored them. Its current owners have made it their home. Note that the former railway line has since been converted into a promenade space, as part of the RAVel network (cycling paths).
Former Train Station of Paturages (private property) Rue de Pâturages, 140 7390 Quaregnon Latitude (N) : 50.421197 Longitude (E) : 3.863165
This visit left a strong, long-lasting impression on him; to the point that, from 1882 on, he would cut off and collect realistic black and white engravings he would find in magazines in The Hague. These printing plates - which illustrated the working conditions of miners and animals, firedamp explosions and the ensuing rescue efforts – served as a basis for his personal creations themed on the universe of coalmining. The Marcasse site belonged to the Compagnie des Charbonnages Belges (Belgian Coalmining Company). Since the site was shut down in 1954, it has undergone a natural afforestation. A great part of the slag heap and its surroundings have been classified NATURA 2000 natural reserves. The former industrial buildings currently belong to Mr and Mrs Riccardo and Nadine Barberio-Gravis, who regularly organize cultural events there. Visiting the site is also possible, but only on request.
© visitMons / Gregory Mathelot
I Marcasse Site Sentier de Saint-Ghislain, 7 7340 Colfontaine email@example.com Latitude (N) : 50.410837 Longitude (E) : 3.828426
due to his poor rhetorical skills and his inability to organize comforting religious assemblies, he was not much liked as a preacher. In July 1879, the committee of the Flemish College of Evangelists chose not to extend his mission as an evangelist. When he found out, he was extremely disappointed as he had devoted himself entirely to this mission for the last 6 months.
© visitMons / Gregory Mathelot
Van Gogh house in Wasmes In December 1878, Vincent van Gogh moved into a room with a view on the Marcasse coal-mining site. The house belonged to a local baker called Jean-Baptiste Denis. At this time, Van Gogh was fully devoted to his evangelical mission, alternating bible readings, religious ceremonies, visiting sick people and preaching. His enthusiasm and the support of Abraham van der Waeyen Pieterszen, a member of the Flemish College of Evangelists, helped him obtain a six-month trial period as an evangelist that started on February the 1st 1879. Trying to practice what he preached as much as possible, he chose to love as a poor among the poor, giving away his pay 16
and his clothes to the most deprived. Finding the room he rented too luxurious, he settled into a little hut so he could experience the locals’ way of life to the closest. Unfortunately, the locals found his choice to live in such miserable conditions incomprehensible as they had been condemned to misery from the day they had been born. He also had trouble grasping the local dialect – wallon des Borains -, especially given the pace at which it was spoken by locals. Furthermore, the inhabitants of the Borinage didn’t understand the elaborate French the Dutchman spoke at a similarly fast pace in a desperate attempt to fit in. The result was that,
Of his stay in Wasmes from December 1878 to July 1879, only four letters remain; as the greater part of the correspondence got lost or destroyed. In these letters, we can learn more about the artist’s daily life there. For instance, we know that he preached at a dance hall known as the salon du bébé, that he went down deep into the Marcasse coal mine in March 1879 or that he attempted to rescue miners injured in the firedamp explosion of the Agrappe coal-mine in April 1879. The house in Wasmes had been in danger of falling into ruin for years. All that remained were the front wall and the front flap of the roof, which could barely hold on to the few remains of the roof structure. The Mons 2015 Foundation, the city of Colfontaine – which took part in the project – and companies sponsoring the foundation were, therefore, intent on recreating the spirit of the place, rather than on restoring the place itself, for which there were no plans or historical records anyway. An inside cob wall, the few remaining elements of a watertank and the room with a view on the marcasse coal-mine are the different powerful and authentic stages of an intuitive tour. Various excerpts from the letters he wrote here, the colors and patinas chosen, the vintage furniture and the little recreated garden further fill the tour with ambiences and memories.
© visitMons / Gregory Mathelot
I Open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to 4PM On weekdays, accessible to groups, on request (except on Monday and Wednesday afternoons) Free entrance
Van Gogh House in Wasmes Rue Wilson, 221 7340 Wasmes (Colfontaine) Information : Cultural Centre of Colfontaine, +32 (0)65/88.74.88 Latitude (N) : 50.406998 Longitude (E) : 3.832931
*Groupe Akzo Nobel, Société Franki, Bureau d’architecture A&G, Sociétés Gobert, CIT Blaton, Knauf, Aurométal Monsalu. v
© OPT / Ricardo De La Riva
© OPT / Ricardo De La Riva
CID - Lithographie extraite de La Belgique industrielle, vers 1852
GRAND-HORNU SITE The site known as Grand-Hornu is a former coal-mining industrial facility. It was operated until 1954 and still bares witness to the great industrial revolution of the 19th Century. First erected from 1810 to 1830 by Henri de Gorge, a French-born captain of industry, it was conceived as a full-fledged city project. This site is the only example of a functional urbanization plan from the early industrial age to be found on the European continent. The Grand-Hornu site was built in the neoclassical style. It includes the coalmining industrial facility (workshops and offices), the workers’ housing estate, and the directors’ home, also known as the Château de Gorge (Gorge castle). The workers’ housing estate – the first to be built in Europe - was located right next to the coalmining industrial facility. 18
Miners coming from various regions would come and live in one of the 440 houses, all of which featured a backyard and were exceptionally comfortable by the standards of that time. A public school, a public library, a public bath, a dance hall and a hospital further contributed to making this housing estate a place that could be truly called a town. In 1989, the Province of Hainaut acquired the estate. This prime example of our industrial heritage has since then been converted into a major pole of contemporary creation, housing the CID (Center for Innovation and Design) and the Mac’s (Museum of Contemporary Art of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation). It has been included on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites since 2012. The integration of new buildings into
the estate in order to house the Mac’s is the work of Belgian architect Pierre Hebbelinck. On the car park in front of the Grand-Hornu site, one can see the slabs of a former 787-meter deep coalpit (coalpit 7, or Sainte Louise). The starting point of the very first Belgian railway was built here, to bring coal to the surface.
right after mass to ask him why the faithful didn’t seem touched by his sermon.
I Open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10AM to 6PM
A little further, you can see the alley where Vincente Minelli and his crew shot a few scenes for the movie “lust for life”, starring Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh. Many locals were asked to play in the movie as extras.
Prices Full : €8 Reduced : €5 (seniors...) Schools or kids: €2 Free entrance for children under 6
Indeed, on September 21st 1955, Vincente Minelli’s camera crews took possession of rue Sainte Louise, rue de Wasmes and the alley separating the two streets. Machinists, cameramen, sound technicians, actors, extras, neighbours and other curious people clustered there, waiting for the filming to start. One scene that was shot here was the one in which Kirk Douglas, AKA Vincent van Gogh, runs after a miner
GRAND-HORNU SITE Rue Sainte-Louise 82 7301 Boussu +32 (0) 65/61.38.81 firstname.lastname@example.org www.grand-hornu.eu Latitude (N) : 50.260594 Longitude (E) : 3.501532
TO SEE MORE 6
VAN GOGH’S BUST
BY OSSIP ZADKINE (1890-1967)
Salon du Bébé
Ossip Zadkine was a Russian-born French sculptor. After completing artistic studies in England, Zadkine settled in Paris, where he got acquainted with Appolinaire, Modigliani, Picasso and other artists. His first works there, inspired from cubist works and carved straight from wood or stone, are characterized by a geometrisation of all shapes. They then evolved towards a reinterpretation on the Antiquities, through a series of mythological themes.
The place known as “salon du bébé” (“baby hall”) is actually a former dance hall where the Protestant community would regularly hold meetings. The name “salon du bébé” has its roots in an old folkloric game in which the inhabitants of Wasmes had to explore the woods, in search of a baby that had been hidden. Once he had been found, the party would proceed to the dance hall in Rue du Bois. Vincent van Gogh preached there several times. Nowadays, the dance hall doesn’t exist in its original form anymore. It has since then been divided into 2 traditional workers’ houses. They remind us of Van Gogh’s interest for Miners’ houses, as those found in his works “Maison Magros” and “Maison Zandmennik”. These “people’s nests”, as he called them, form a central pattern in his works.
© VisitMons / Gregory Mathelot
I Salon du Bébé (private property) Rue du Bois, 257 7340 Wasmes (Colfontaine) Latitude (N) : 50.403417 Longitude (E) : 3.83854
Vincent van Gogh, Maison Magros, vers 18791880, dessin, 23 x 29,4 cm. National Gallery of Art Washington,The Armand Hammer Collection.
As of 1926, he started creating models out of plaster or stone which were then cast in bronze. He also started developing more complex compositions, mixing different characters and a play of convex and concave surfaces. After a five-year exile to New-York due to the conflict in Europe, he came back to Paris and started teaching at the Academy of La Grande Chaumière, winning the sculpture grand prize at the Venice Biennale in 1950. His work, which is recognized internationally, has been the object of many retrospectives in France and abroad. His most famous later works include a monumental sculpture symbolizing the bombings on Rotterdam and several studies for the commission of a “monument to Van Gogh” erected in Auvers-surOise in 1961, followed by others in Wasmes, Zundert and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Because of a robbery attempt, Van Gogh’s bust, is now stored in a safe alcove in the town hall of Wasmes. A replica can be seen on the roundabout of Place Saint-Pierre in Wasmes.
© VisitMons / Gregory Mathelot
I Van Gogh’s Bust Roundabout of Place Saint-Pierre in Wasmes Rue du Bois 7340 Colfontaine Latitude (N) : 50.409813 Longitude (E) : 3.843535
AGRAPPE COAL MINE
© VisitMons / Gregory Mathelot
Official document by which Van Gogh was appointed as a preacher in the Borinage for a 6-month term as of 1 February 1879.
TEMPLE OF PETIT-WASMES After the young Belgian State recognised freedom of worship, many Protestant communities came to Belgium and settled all over the country, and even more so in the Borinage where they were quite active. However, these local communities had very little external support as there were no structures to organize their relations with each other or with the public authorities.
as an evangelist a few months later, on the recommendation of artist-evangelist Abraham van der Waeyen Pieterzen, who was then a general agent on the evangelization committee and a member of the steering committee of the Flemish College of evangelists in Brussels, where Van Gogh was then struggling to complete an accelerated evangelist training.
In order to address this structural and representational issue, an institutional body, the Union of Evangelical Protestant Churches of the Kingdom of Belgium, was founded in 1839.
In Wasmes, Van Gogh’s mission was to support two pastors in conducting worship, spreading the word of the gospel, leading reading groups or visiting the sick. However, Van Gogh never had the opportunity to preach in the protestant temple, as it was only built 20 years after he left the Borinage, in 1987.
The union put in place an “evengelization committee” whose missions were to support protestant elementary schools, to finance the construction of new Churches and to develop a peddling network (to distribute bibles). With the support of the committee, the protestant community of Wasmes, which until then had neither pastors nor places of worship, started to congregate in the summer of 1878 in a former dance hall, the so-called “Salon du Bébe” (Baby Hall). Vincent van Gogh was appointed there 22
I Temple of Petit-Wasmes Rue du Pasteur Lhost,1 7340 Wasmes (Colfontaine) email@example.com
On April 17th 1879, a deadly explosion occurred in the Agrappe coal mine in Frameries, near Cuesmes. 121 people were killed. Having probably heard the firedamp explosion, Van Gogh reportedly rushed to the site to rescue the wounded. Deeply affected by the tragedy, Van Gogh later described it in a letter to his parents, with a few newspaper cut-outs enclosed. Unfortunately, the only historical records of this mention are the letters he sent to his father and to his brother. The mining world is an unforgiving one and the ravages caused by the all-too-frequent accidents that o ccured struck a population that was already under severe strain. In addition to the dreadful hygiene and health conditions miners and their families had to bear with, nutritional problems further undermined their physical condition and their health. The site was closed down in 1922.
© VisitMons / Gregory Mathelot
I Agrappe coal mine Rue Alfred Defuisseaux (+/- n°89) 7080 Frameries Latitude (N) : 50.407965 Longitude (E) : 3.898984
« Everywhere around here one sees the big chimneys and the huge mountains of coal at the entrance to the mines, the so-called coal-pits ». Vincent to Theo van Gogh. Thursday, 26 December 1878
Latitude (N) : 50.409952 Longitude (E) : 3.838054
© VisitMons / Gregory Mathelot
QUINQUET As of the late 18th Century, industrial coalmining started developing considerably and leaving its mark on the surrounding landscapes. One of the last remains of this glorious past can be seen on the main square of Cuesmes. It is a very symbolic miner’s lamp named “Quinquet”. The giant lamp was built in the workshops of the Rieu coalmine in the heart of Quaregnon right after World War 2. When the mine was closed down, around 1958, it was moved to the courtyard of the slag heap known as “l’Héribus”. Once the company’s pits were closed down, the directors donated the lamp to the town admistration, who placed it where it now stands. © visitMons
I Quinquet Place de Cuesmes, 28 7033 Mons Latitude (N) : 50.437525 Longitude (E) : 3.924819
« La Gagane » SLAG HEAP The former coal-mining site of La Gagagne in Flénu, not far from Cuesmes, inspired Van Gogh in a lead pencil drawing he produced in the summer of 1879. Van Gogh completed the painting with watercolor upon returning home. Indeed, here and there, one can see a few faded pencil annotations specifying the colors to be used : “red, greenish yellow, pink”. The watercolor set had been given to him by Tersteeg, his former supervisor back when he worked as a clerk for the art dealer Coupil & Cie. By the Summer of 1879, Van Gogh was no longer working as an evangelist in Wasmes, as his contract had not been extended.
Very little is known about what he did during that time, but drawing seems to have taken up a large proportion of his days. He would find inspiration in the people around him or in the surroundings, as can be seen on this picture. The site has since then been levelled and is currently closed.
I « La Gagane » slag heap Rue de la Côte d’Ivoire, (+/- 142-154) 7012 Jemappes (Mons) Latitude (N) : 50.4383 Longitude (E) : 3.89329
© VisitMons / Gregory Mathelot
PASS The PASS is an original science museum which aims at letting people discover and understand science and technology in a fun, active manner. It is located on the splendid site of a former coal-mine called “le crachet”, which featured a large-diameter pit equipped with cages, pit-head frames, winding gear, fans, offices, bath-showers, washtubs, background equipment. A long tunnel beneath Frameries was used to bring charcoal from the grand-trait and the Grisoeil, where it was extracted, to the new washtub. In spite all of this, the 2 pits were closed in 1960, barely after all the work had been completed. On September 8th 1989, the monument was listed at the initiative of the Walloon Region and the EU, The former 28-hectare coal-mining site has since then been transformed into a center aiming to diffuse and promote scientific, technical and industrial culture.
The industrial wasteland was revitalized by the internationally-reknown architect Jean Nouvel.
Opening hours to consult on www.pass.be Prices Adults (from 26 to 60) : €12.50 Children between 6 and 14 : €9.50 Children under 6 : free
Pass Scientific Adventure Park Rue de Mons, 3 7080 Frameries +32 (0) 70/22.22.52 firstname.lastname@example.org www.pass.be Latitude (N) : 50.4195887 Longitude (E) : 3.902956099999983
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Le grand large
24 Mons B501
Obourg 8 Mons-Est 3. MARCASSE SITE (p.15) Latitude : 50.410837 – Longitude : 3.828426 N552 N552
4. Van Gogh HOUSE IN WASMES (p.16) Latitude : 50.406998 – Longitude : 3.832931
Havré 5. GRAND-HORNU SITE Havré (p.18-19) N538 Latitude : 50.260594 – Longitude : 3.501532
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2 Sud Quaregnon
N564 10. QUINQUET (p.24) N90 Latitude : 50.437525 – Longitude : 3.924819
11. «LA GAGANE» SLAG HEAP (p.24) Spiennes Villers-Saint-Ghislain Latitude : 50.4383 – Longitude : 3.89329 12. PASS (p.25) Latitude : 50.4195887 – Longitude : 3.902956099999983
3 Frameries La Trouille
9. AGRAPPE COAL MINE (p.23) Latitude : 50.407965 – Longitude : 3.898984
6. SALON DU BEBE (p.20) Latitude : 50.403417 – Longitude : 3.83854
8. TEMPLE OF PETIT-WASMES (p.22) Latitude : 50.409952 – Longitude : 3.838054
7. VAN GOGH’S BUST (p.21) Latitude : 50.409813 – Longitude : 3.843535
Ville-sur-Haine N538 T
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Latitude : 50.441392 – Longitude : 3.924935 2. FORMER TRAIN STATION OF PATURAGES (p.14) Ville-sur-Haine 22 Obourg Latitude : 50.421197 – Longitude : 3.863165
23 Nimy Maisières N50
E19 A7 E42 HOUSE IN CUESMES (p.12) 1. VAN GOGH
Asquillies N543 Noirchain Genly Bougnies
Boussu Colfontaine Frameries Hensies Honnelles Jurbise Lens Mons Quaregnon Quévy Quiévrain Saint-Ghislain
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