To save money on models, Vincent van Gogh decided to become a member of two drawing clubs in Antwerp. By paying a modest subscription fee, club members had the opportunity to attend evening sessions and draw from both nude and clothed models.

These informal drawing clubs, often referred to as sketching clubs, were typically organized by advanced students from the senior classes at the Antwerp Academy.

Today 137 years ago, on 4 February 1886,

Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Antwerp:

"What we have to do and what is largely lacking — is this. Paying the models ourselves is too much; as long as one doesn’t have enough money, one must take advantage of the opportunities at the studios, like Verlat, like Cormon. And one must be in the artists’ world and work at clubs where one shares the cost of the models.”

Standing Female Nude Seen from the Front
Antwerp, 1886
Charcoal, chalk, lithographic crayon, on paper
50,4 x 39,2 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

You may also like to read:
Why did Van Gogh join drawing clubs in Antwerp? Van Gogh's 'Standing Female Nude Seen from the Front'

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