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 on a three day drive around Brabant and discover for yourself the places that remind us of the masterpieces he painted and which inspired him.
Your journey starts in Zundert, the town where Vincent van Gogh was born. The Vincent van GoghHuis now 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 terrace or visit the restaurant. 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, a 20 minute drive from Zundert you can visit the Van Gogh Church. The 28 year old Vincent lived for a time with his parents, who in the meantime 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.
Nuenen is just under an hour’s drive from Zundert. Vincent van Gogh lived here for almost two years, 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! In the Vincentre. You will literally be immersed in Van Gogh’s time. See 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 addition to the many Van Gogh heritage locations in Brabant, you will also find actual works by Van Gogh. Brabant’s provincial capital of ’s-Hertogenbosch is a thirty minute drive from Nuenen. The artist has a special pavilion in the Noordbrabants Museum where the story of the artist’s origins in Brabant and his fascination for peasant life are told through his paintings. 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.
Take a boat trip along the Binnendieze underground waterway, visit St. John’s cathedral and enjoy a delicious lunch or meal in one of the many restaurants and cafes that the town is so rich in.
From autumn 2019 the exhibition ‘Van Goghs Inner Circle’ will be staged in the Noordbrabants Museum. This unique exhibition will offer a wide perspective of the people who played an important role in both the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, through his paintings, drawings, letters and documents.