The world-famous painter Vincent van Gogh was not only born in North Brabant, he lived and worked there for most of his life. And that moulded him as a man and a painter. Tread literally in Van Gogh’s footsteps and discover for yourself the places that remind us of the master painter and which inspired him, during a road trip across Brabant. You can take the car, but there is also a wonderful Van Gogh cycle route with 435 km of cycling pleasure, divided up into ten unique routes.
The Vincent van GoghHuis in Zundert, where Vincent van Gogh was born, stands on the site of his birthplace. The permanent presentation ‘The Roots of a Master’ focuses on the artist’s youth. Vincent takes you by the hand and leads you through an audio tour about the special relationship with his brother Theo and his parents’ concerns. There is a beautiful garden behind the Van GoghHuis where Vincent played as a child. Stroll around, take a seat on the relaxing garden. A walk through the village will take you to the church where Vincent’s father preached and to the grave of his brother, who was also his namesake.
In Etten-Leur you can visit the Van Gogh Church. The 28 year old Vincent lived for a time with his parents, who by then had moved to Etten-Leur. In his father’s vicarage Vincent told his parents that he had found a new calling: he wanted to become an artist, a turning point in Van Gogh’s life. You will be introduced to a relatively unknown period of Vincent van Gogh’s life in this church. You will see and hear how Van Gogh laid the foundations for the masterpieces that were to follow.
For almost two years, Vincent van Gogh lived in Nuenen, close to Eindhoven, first with his parents as his father now worked in Nuenen, and later in his own studio. His stay in Nuenen was one of the most important and most productive periods in his life. He produced a quarter of all his works here between December 1883 and November 1885. No fewer than 23 buildings and rural scenes still remind us of his time in Nuenen, fourteen of which were painted or sketched by him.
This makes Nuenen a real outdoor museum! You will be submerged in Van Gogh’s time in the Vincentre. You can experience for yourself in an interactive way how Vincent lived and worked in Nuenen. The Vincentre is also the perfect starting point for a cycle trip or a walk past the many heritage locations such as the Opwetten Watermill. Be sure to visit the world-famous Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path after dark, inspired by Van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night. Cycling along this artistic cycle path will guarantee an unforgettable experience!
In the Noordbrabants Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch you can experience Vincent van Gogh’s years in Brabant through his paintings, and with animations, films and soundtracks developed especially for the museum. What did Van Gogh’s Brabant look like? And how did this initially misunderstood artist grow to become an icon? This is also the only place in Brabant where you can admire original works by the world-renowned artist.
The Noordbrabants museum also features another world-famous Brabant painter, Hieronymus Bosch. Many locations in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the city where he was born and died, remind us of this famous medieval painter. It is certainly worthwhile to go exploring through this beautiful historical city. You might want to take a boat trip along the Binnendieze underground waterway, or visit St. John’s cathedral.
Following in Van Gogh’s footsteps by bike is certainly to be recommended. Not only does the Van Gogh cycle route take you through a number of impressive heritage locations, you can enjoy the Brabant countryside at the same time. The route takes you past unique locations in Zundert, Etten-Leur, Nuenen and 's-Hertogenbosch, but you will also get to see other places, such as Breda, Tilburg and Helvoirt. Cycle the whole route (along the cycle route network) or choose one of the route’s sections.