Van Gogh exhibition in Mons
Relive the Birth of an Artist


How can a small museum in a small town compete with the big houses in the culture capitals when it comes to one of the most famous artists in history? Correct; by finding a niche, ideally one that links said artist to said small town.

And that’s exactly what Mons, one of Europe’s Culture Capitals in 2015, has done.

Vincent Van Gogh is best known for his boldly coloured later works – the Starry Night Over the Rhone, the Wheatfields and Cypresses, etc. Most people have seen those, fewer know of his black-and-white drawings and not too many would have any clue that Van Gogh’s career as an artist more or less started in the mining town of Mons, nowadays 45 minutes on the train from Brussels.

The short version: Van Gogh came here as a missionary, decided he wanted to be an artist and started out by drawing the miners, their families and their lives.

Van Gogh au Borinage (that’s what the area is called) is quite an interesting exhibition, no matter how much or little Van Gogh you have already seen, because it gives you an idea of his beginnings as an artist.

Personally, I was quite surprised how good some of these drawings, sketchings, portraits, etc. were. Also, the copies of other artists’ works he did as training exercises were interesting to see.

The exhibition is on until May 17th; to find out about more things to do in Mons, read our post here.

Van Gogh au Borinage, Beaux-Arts Mons // Website