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The Flemish Ardennes, an important stop on Vincent Van Gogh's journey to artistry

Whether you prefer the paintings in northern tones or rather those reflecting the vibrant colours of the south, Vincent van Gogh’s work touches all of us, as do his tormented soul and turbulent life. But did you know that Van Gogh walked from the Borinage region to the Flemish Ardennes in 1879, on his way to a special meeting with protestant pastor-artist Abraham van der Waeyen Pieterszen? 

In the Protestant village of Korsele, part of the rural town of Horebeke, rumour has it that Vincent van Gogh visited this idyllic spot. Visual artist Johan Tahon, who lives and works in the Flemish Ardennes, went in search of the truth behind this rural legend. It soon became clear that Van Gogh was indeed in Horebeke, and that his meeting with van der Waeyen Pieterszen was of great importance for the young Vincent, who was in search for his calling and about to choose a life as an artist. 

Project "Fire in me"

Together with Johan Tahon and researcher Lander Deweer, VARIANT/Erfgoed Vlaamse Ardennen (the region’s cultural heritage organisation) wants to highlight this little-known story through the project “Fire in me. Van Gogh in the Flemish Ardennes.”. This supra-local culture project is subsidized by the Flemish Government and runs from July 2022 to the end of 2023.

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