Vincent lived in The Hague for two periods in his lifetime. He first moved there in 1869, at the age of sixteen, to start an apprenticeship at the office of an international art dealer at The Hague: Goupil & Cie.
Goupil & Cie were amongst the leading art dealers in 19th century France, with headquarters in Paris. Step by step, Goupil established a worldwide trade with reproductions of paintings and sculptures, with a network of branches in London, Brussels, The Hague, Berlin, and Vienna, as well as in New York and Australia.
The Hague branch was established in the 1830s by Vincent van Gogh (Vincents’ Uncle Cent) on the Spuistraat, the gallery was transferred to Plaats 14, in 1861, when merged with Goupil and moved to Plaats 20 in 1880.
Vincent was a talented young man, but at this time he had no ambitions to become an artist himself. During his stay in The Hague, in august 1872, he started to write letters to his brother Theo. Their correspondence continued for almost 18 years.
In 1873, at the age of 20, the art company sends Van Gogh off to England.
In 1881 Vincent returned to The Hague, determined to become a professional artist. He followed painting lessons from his cousin by marriage, Anton Mauve, a leading member of the Hague School. Mauve introduced him to watercolor and oil techniques.
In The Hague, he got acquainted with the artists of the Hague School. Some of these artist were Jozef Israëls and Hendrik Willem Mesdag. Van Gogh liked the work of these artists and the day-to-day life and country scenes that they recorded in their paintings. The realism of the Hague School attracted him, but the dreamy mood of the paintings was often too tame for him. Van Gogh himself drew uncompromisingly unpicturesque views of the city and deliberately looked for the seamier side of life. He wanted to reveal the unpleasantness of the human condition.
Vincent works very hard in The Hague and produces a lot of work, working in the city as well as the countryside and the shore at Scheveningen.
He visited the famous Panorama Mesdag short after its opening in 1881.
The Gemeente Museum in Den Haag owns 6 works of Van Gogh.