Early life of Van Gogh
Van Gogh returned to Etten in April 1881 for an extended stay with his parents. He continued to draw, often using his neighbors as subjects. In August 1881, his recently widowed cousin, Cornelia Vos-Stricker, daughter of his mother's older sister arrived for a visit.
He was thrilled and took long walks with her. Cornelia was seven years older than he was and had an eight-year-old son. Van Gogh surprised everyone by declaring his love to her and proposing marriage. She refused with the words: "nooit, neen, nimmer" (nay, no, never).