• Museum or Interpretation Centre

Hidden treasure of Colfontaine, the residence of Vincent van Gogh during his years in the Borinage is an unavoidable stopping point in the artists life history.


The house of Coflontaine  should be an essential part of a "pilgrimage route", for amateurs, the fact that Vincent van Gogh quotes the house Denis in his correspondence and wrote some of the most important letters of his life there just reinforces the character and attraction of the place.

"I rented a small house where I would like to live quite alone, but for now, as Pa finds it preferable, and I, too, that I stay at Denis, it only serves as a workshop or office ".

(Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, letter of 4 March 1879)

History

It was in March 1879 that Vincent van Gogh mentions the house for the first time located 81 rue du Petit Wasmes, now rue Wilson in Colfontaine. On his arrival in the Borinage a few months earlier, in December 1878, the evangelist Benjamin Vanderhaegen  quickly found him this accommodation. The house belonged to a baker named Jean-Baptiste Denis and played a leading role in the artist's journey.

There he enjoyed "companionship" with the miners and made them the subject of his first attempts at drawing. It is also in this house that he wrote letters to his brother and where you can see how is life veered towards an exceptional artistic destiny. These precious elements of memory and history, together with the fact that the places mentioned exist, add to the importance of safeguarding the house Denis, which remains one of the rare testimonies of  Van Gogh's presence in the Borinage, and particularly in Wasmes (now Colfontaine).

Just a year ago, it was only the facade that had been preserved in the original state. The rest of the house required a meticulous work of reconstruction which makes possible the existing iconographic documents.

 

In practice

Open every week-end from 10am to 4pm.

The week by appointment for groups only - except Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

Appointments are made at the Cultural Center of Colfontaine (065/88 74 88).

Free entry

You may have heard Belgium has recently faced torrential rain, causing dramatic floods. Many regions have been touched by this natural catastrophe. We are doing our best to help all travellers coming to Wallonia. Some sites are, as you can understand, not accessible for the time being. Please contact them or check their website/social media platforms before getting on the road. Be assured we are all trying to get things back to order as soon as possible. Travel advice
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