Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) is world famous. Van Gogh lived and worked in various places in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. In September 1883, the artist left The Hague for Drenthe to capture the landscape and life of farmers and peat workers.
Van Gogh arrived by train at Hoogeveen station on 11 September. After a few weeks he would travel to Nieuw-Amsterdam / Veenoord, and from there he undertook a day trip to Zweeloo. The artist stayed in Drenthe for three months. From this short but important chapter in his life, a small oeuvre of paintings and drawings and a series of beautiful letters have been preserved.
Experts from the Drents Museum, Drents Archief and Het Drentse Landschap have investigated the locations that Vincent van Gogh visited in Drenthe, which played a role in his work or inspired him. Sources and maps from Van Gogh’s Drenthe period have been looked at from both an art-historical and a historical and spatial perspective. Based on the small Drenthe oeuvre of five paintings, approximately fifteen drawings and the letters that Van Gogh wrote from Drenthe, the research team conducted field research, consulted experts and studied existing publications.
This website and the publication Van Gogh Heritage Locations in Drenthe with fifteen described locations – buildings, areas and landscapes that played an important role in the artist’s period in Drenthe – are the result of that scientific assessment research.
The 15 places that Van Gogh visited in Drenthe from September to December 1883 or were a source of inspiration for him have now been mapped. With this website and publication, a gap has been filled and the foundation has been laid for the story of Van Gogh in Drenthe. By making the 15 locations visible – buildings, areas and landscapes that played an important role in the artist’s period in Drenthe – a more complete story of Vincent van Gogh can now be told.
The three organizations hope that this research will be the starting point for coordinated further development of initiatives to preserve Van Gogh’s Drenthe heritage for the future. The aim is to make the largest possible national and international audience enthusiastic about Van Gogh’s period in Drenthe.
Partners in this project are the Drents Museum, Drents Archief and Het Drentse Landschap. The inventory of Van Gogh Brabant served as an example project. The Van Gogh Museum acted as advisor. The help of all the local parties involved in Drenthe was very important to the research. The project was made possible by a financial contribution from the province of Drenthe.
Annemiek Rens (Chief Curator Drents Museum),
Egbert Brink (former archivist Drents Archief),
Erwin de Leeuw (archive processing and information Drents Archief)
Frank van der Velden (head of the Monuments and Locations team Het Drentse Landschap)
In addition to field research and many conversations with local experts, the research often drew on the rich sources of the Drents Museum, the Drents Archief and Het Drentse Landschap. The data of the Land Registry were also regularly consulted, as were the archives of the Van Gogh Museum and the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History. The online publication of Van Gogh’s letters by the Van Gogh Museum and the Huygens Institute resulted in the most valuable guideline within the project.
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