Vincent Van Gogh and Aerssen

Aertsen (1862-1941)

He was the closest peasant to Dorus. He took part in the church Council, and benefited from the help of Vincent's father's side family all his life. To support Servas Aersten who often had difficulties and didn't succeed in managing his farm in a sensible way, Dorus even had to oppose repeatedly the association which wanted to take away his farm. He never ceased trying to obtain aids for him. When Aertsen died, Vincent insisted in closing his eyes. When he learnt about his state,he had to borrow money to take the train from Dordrecht to Breda. From there, he went to Zundert on foot. As he arrived too early in the morning, he waited till his family woke up in the churchyard. But Aertsen had died during the night. Vincent saw Aertsen on his death-bed. He wrote Theo that this experience had left its mark on him, and that he “would never be able to forget it".