Life and work of Vincent in Nuenen

Arrival in Nuenen

On December 5, 1883, Vincent van Gogh, aged 30, arrived by train from Nieuw-Amsterdam in Drenthe at the then station in Nuenen. He moves in with his parents in the parsonage. Vincent feels, however, that he is not really welcome.
In letter 413 of Dec. 15, 1883, he wrote: "There is a similar objection to taking me in as there would be to having a large shaggy dog in the house. He will come into the room with wet paws - and then, he is so rough. He'll get in everyone's way.- And he barks so loud.- He's a dirty animal - in short."

Farm Life

Vincent makes the choice in Nuenen to use the daily, hard life of peasants and weavers as a starting point for his painting.
His stay in Nuenen is one of the most important and productive periods of his life. From December 1883 to November 1885 he produced a quarter of his total oeuvre.

The Potato Eaters

With a large piece of multiple figures, Van Gogh hopes to prove himself to the outside world. Painting a daily meal of farm workers was popular at the time. For months he practiced painting heads, and dozens of studies preceded The Potato Eaters.

Extensive information about this first masterpiece

Departure from Nuenen

On November 24 of 1885, Vincent left for Antwerp. Several drawings and paintings he left with his family were lost when his mother and sister Willemien moved to Breda in early 1886.

Several important paintings from his Nuenen period can be seen at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and Het Noordbrabants Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch.

12 paintings in Brabant
  • In the footsteps of Vincent

    Van Gogh Village Museum tells about Vincent, the Van Gogh family and life in Nuenen. You can still see many of the original buildings in Nuenen: it is an open-air museum.

    In the footsteps of Vincent
  • Practical information Museum Nuenen

    Address, opening hours and prices of the Van Gogh Village Museum.

    Practical information Museum Nuenen Hall and store of museum Nuenen