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Van Gogh and his love for Sien

Van Gogh and his love for Sien


Vincent Van Gogh is known to have had a turbulent existence, just as it is well known his story with the Italian model Agostina Segatori. His love for a woman named Sien and his misfortune in love are less well known.

Throughout his life the artist had to fight with the loneliness that has always accompanied him and his loves have proved impossible, starting with the 20-years-old daughter of the landlady who hosted him in London, up to the courtship for his widowed cousin and passing through various relationships with models and prostitutes. But the Flemish artist was mainly obsessed with Sien or Cien, at the registry office Clasina Hoornik.

Who was Sien

Sien was a woman with a face marked by smallpox, very thin because of hunger and even pregnant when the artist met her. Not only that, she also had another little girl who lived with her, on the street, even while she was a prostitute. The painter always cared about the needy and so he decided to take her with him. Then, a relationship began and between one session and the next in which the woman posed for the painter, the Flemish artist also took care of the new-born.

Evidence of the relationship between the two can be found both in the numerous drawings that the painter has produced and in the numerous writings in which Van Gogh speaks of the woman.

However, this relationship was not well seen by his family. Especially after the painter contracted gonorrhoea from his beloved and he was hospitalised, the artist's family categorically opposed the relationship, even though the painter intended to marry the woman. At the time, Van Gogh was earning nothing, so marrying his beloved was an even more difficult enterprise.

Shortly after these events the woman began to drink and even to sell her body, attitudes that have worsened the situation and that in 1883 led to the final break between the two.

Unfortunately, in 1904 the woman committed suicide by jumping into the river Scheldt.

The other women of Vincent

As anticipated, for Vincent, this wasn't the only story that was tormented and that ended badly. He was obsessed with the very young daughter of his landlady while he was in London. The little girl with blue eyes and blonde hair made the painter's head turn and when he was taken away by the girl's mother, the artist went into depression for a long time. As in many other cases in which the painter had lost the desire to paint and to live, again his family took care of him.

Melancholic, often depressed and in need of medical care, Vincent Van Gogh has almost always led his life alone. His preferences regarding women, his attraction to vulnerable women, to prostitutes and women with problems certainly did not help the sentimental life of the painter, as well as the precarious economic situation that often meant having to rely on his relatives, who did not leave him much space.

Article by: Aurora Caraman

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