Van Gogh in Drenthe

Vincent van Gogh is known all over the world. Few people know that he also stayed in Drenthe, for a period of three months, in the southeastern part of the province.

Five paintings, around fifteen drawings and a series of beautiful letters to his brother Theo were preserved from the period during which he stayed in Drenthe. We take you to the places that inspired him.

"I breathed the heathland air for a month. I absolutely needed that. I sat down by a peat fire made by peasants, with a cradle beside it. I speak calmly, I think calmly now." - Vincent van Gogh about his stay in Drenthe

Van Gogh's Room

Nieuw-Amsterdam is home to the Van Gogh Huis Drenthe, the place where Vincent stayed for two months. The only publicly accessible house in the Netherlands where he lived and worked. His room looks the same as it did back then. With this new exhibition, Vincent van Gogh’s time in Drenthe and the search for himself as an artist come back to life.

Visit the Van Gogh House
De kamer waar Van Gogh gewoond en gewerkt heeft in Drenthe met het bed, stoelen, een wastafel en schildersgerei.

Van Gogh Cycling Routes

Get to know Van Gogh's primal landscape by bicycle! Follow three different routes, see what Vincent saw and what inspiration he found. The routes will take you past viewing panels with listening stories and large murals.

Discover the routes
Een man fietst door het Drentse landschap langs een doorkijkpaneel met een schets van Van Gogh.

Van Gogh Walking routes

You can explore Drenthe on foot just like Vincent did. We have created four special walking routes. They take you past places where Vincent left his footprints 140 years ago.

Discover the routes
Een man en een vrouw lopen over het pad naar de ingang van het kerkje van Zweeloo.

From The Hague to Drenthe

In 1883, Vincent van Gogh decided to leave for Drenthe. He was penniless, and the relationship with his fiancée Sien had just gone on the rocks. That also meant that he had said goodbye to Sien's little daughter and son, to whom he had become very much attached. The painter Anthon van Rappard, who was still a good friend of his at the time, had already been in Drenthe in 1882 and had made a number of exquisite paintings there. Van Gogh was inspired by those paintings. Moreover, it seemed to him that life in the countryside of Drenthe would be cheaper than in The Hague. And thus on 11 September, he got on the last train from The Hague to Drenthe with a broken heart.

Metres-high murals

If you didn’t already know about Vincent van Gogh’s link to Drenthe, you sure will now. Artists have painted a mural of Vincent van Gogh’s portrait on the side wall of a building in the centre of Hoogeveen. A former grain silo in Nieuw-Amsterdam/Veenoord also features several murals by the artists, including Vincent’s watercolour of the drawbridge in Nieuw-Amsterdam.

Een huizenhoge muurschildering op de cilo in Nieuw Amsterdam/Veenoord. Het is de aquarel die Van Gogh vanaf zijn kamer schilderde van de ophaalbrug die hij vanuit zijn raam zag.

Works Created in Drenthe

In Drenthe, Van Gogh focussed on painting landscapes and figures. Not only did he see the beauty of the peat landscape of Drenthe, but he particularly had an eye for the common people and the hard life of the agricultural workers. This can clearly be seen in the paintings 'Peasant Burning Weeds' and 'The Peat Barge'.

More art of Van Gogh in Drenthe
Het schilderij 'Onkruid verbrandende boer' van Vincent van Gogh Het schilderij 'De turfschuit' van Vincent van Gogh, olieverf op doek, olieverf op doek.

"How I wish that we could walk together and paint together here. I believe that the country would win you over and persuade you." - Vincent van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo about Drenthe"