The footsteps of Vincent van Gogh in Drenthe (Netherlands)

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Contributed by feature reporter Jens Hoffmann

The subject of the research trip was the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, one of the most famous painters in the world.

Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in Zundert, a municipality in the province of Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands. He came from a religious family, his father was a Protestant minister. Van Gogh had an eventful life and suffered from psychological problems.

There are many myths about him.

In our memories are the cut ear he gave to a prostitute, his often unrecognized genius, his self-mutilation and his suicide.

A bit unknown is his time in the region of Drenthe.

Vincent van Gogh’s paintings and drawings are so popular today that they reach record sums of several million euros at international auctions.
Van Gogh created over 800 paintings and more than 1,300 works on paper.
Let’s go to Drenthe in the original region of the Netherlands.

We have busy schedules and are always available.
You should simply block out the outside world completely and visit this deeply relaxed region.

In Drenthe there are beautiful moorland areas, lots of sheep, three national parks, windmills and many canals.

“If you know what to look for, beauty is closer than you think.”

The van Gogh Huis in Nieuw-Amsterdam.

The renovated Van Gogh House Museum in Drenthe will open in autumn 2023. There are now modern, digital elements and a lot of audio information.

Definitely the right way to get younger visitors excited about Van Gogh and get an insight into his life.

His spartan room with easel, various paints, flat and round brushes, painting blocks and bed gives an idea of what he was focusing on at the time, even if he only lived in this house in Nieuw-Amsterdam for two months.

As we travel through the Drenthe region, we discover many buildings with van Gogh memories and artwork of the icon.

And his portrait on the back of the building.

The region wants to reinvent itself as a Vincent van Gogh art metropolis.

Everywhere the nostalgic mixes with the new and you learn a lot about his life.

Let’s travel back in time.
In September 1883 he took the train to Drenthe to be inspired by the idyllic primeval landscape and to work as an artist.
After his time in hectic London, he likes the quiet rural existence in Drenthe.
In his paintings, drawings and letters he writes about his emotional world during these days.
The time became crucial for his artistic development; during this time he used dark colors and tried various new styles.

The Drents Museum in Assen surprised us with a modern van Gogh exhibition.
You sit on real, wooden train benches and experience the “Traveling with Vincent” journey up close.

An exciting, modern van Gogh exhibition.

The exhibition is part of a “Van Gogh” project that began in spring 2023 with the reopening of the Van Gogh Village Museum in Nuenen.

The exhibition “Van Gogh in Drenthe” features paintings, drawings and watercolors by Vincent, but also works by other artists such as Jean-François Millet and Anton Mauve.
His paintings show his brushwork – one stroke next to the other – and also his choice of dark colors; clearly van Gogh’s new handwriting.
In Drenthe he painted several works that captured the landscape and the simple life of the people in this area.

I like this embedding in the artistic context of his time, the thematic melange bringing together all of these exhibits from museums and private collections from around the world.
Its a masterpiece in itself.

Time seems to stand still.

The church of Zweeloo looks exactly like Van Gogh’s picture and is still in the same place.

The region makes Vincent a hero.

You can discover it everywhere and various art events surrounding this exhibition can be found in Assen, Emmen and Zweeloo.
There are information boards everywhere along the way with audio-visual highlights about a painter.
All of this can be easily discovered by bike.
An icon was carefully built here as a decoration to help the nature, meadows, forests and canals can be found everywhere.

An exciting painter, a relaxed atmosphere and untouched nature.
Lots of space to dream and enjoy.
And directly behind the border with Lower Saxony.
Oh yeah, the region belongs on every bucket list.


Drent’s Museum

Drents Museum

Thanks to the great curator Harry Tupan (General Director) of the Drents Museum.

Cycling & hiking trails:


The Aelderstroom restaurant is listed as a Bib Gourmand Michelin restaurant.

Restaurant Aelderstrom

Living in style.