The 'Laakmolen' near The Hague

The 'Laakmolen' near The Hague

The 'Laakmolen' near the Hague is a watercolor by Vincent van Gogh that he made in the summer of 1882. Formerly it was thought to have dated from his Etten period 1881. Following identification of the mill, historians now place it the year following.[1]


Both Hulsker and De La Faille place the work as done at Etten around October 1881. Hulsker notes that the work is not mentioned anywhere and is difficult to place. Christie's, following Martha Op de Coul, date the watercolor as done later in summer 1882 after van Gogh had moved to The Hague.[1][2] The mill is identified as the Laakmolen (52°4′4.16″N 4°19′56.98″E / 52.0678222°N 4.3324944°E / 52.0678222; 4.3324944), a well known mill on the way to Rijswijk, at that time a village near The Hague.

The location is of considerable interest because in the summer of 1872 (i.e. some ten years earlier), Vincent's brother Theo had come to visit Vincent at The Hague and together they had walked to a mill at Rijswijk (presumed to be the Laakmolen, one of just two at Rijswijk) where they drank milk together. It seems this walk held special emotional significance for Vincent, as he later referred to it several times in his letters to Theo. Biographers have suggested that at this time they made a pact together to pursue a career in art.[3][4]

The watercolor sold for £2,322,500 at Christies, London, on 23 June 2015.[1]

References and sources

  1. 1 2 3 "Sale 10334 Lot 14". Christie's.
  2. Op de Coul, 1990
  3. Naifeh et al., p. 76 n. 187
  4. "Letter 11:To Theo van Gogh. London, Sunday, 20 July 1873". Van Gogh Museum. 1r:4. How much I’d like to have you here, what pleasant days we spent together in The Hague. I still think so often of our walk on Rijswijkseweg, where we drank milk at the mill after the rain.
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