London: Vincent van Gogh shared a tender relationship with his London landlady, it has emerged, after a partial collection of handwritten poems and hymns he penned for her was pieced together for the first time.
Before establishing himself as an artist, the Dutch post-impressionist lived in Isleworth, west London, under the roof of Annie Slade-Jones and her husband Thomas, a reverend who ran a nearby school.
While lodging at the property in the 1870s, Van Gogh provided his landlady with a wide range of personal writings, estimated to be about 5000 words, including published poems, hymns, Bible passages and literary extracts.
The pair’s relationship was said to be close, with Van Gogh reading for the couple’s children as well as once giving Mrs Slade-Jones flowers over her displeasure at the smell of his pipe tobacco.
New research by Martin Bailey, a writer for The Art Newspaper and expert on Van Gogh, has found the Dutchman’s writings were torn up and sold as separate piecesin an apparent bid to cash in on his fame.
The entire album sold for £550 ($1124) in 1980, but was then sliced up and sold on again in fragments for a huge profit. However, half have now been collected by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.