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Follow Van Gogh's footsteps in Drenthe.

On 11 September 1883, Vincent van Gogh disembarked at Hoogeveen train station. Away from The Hague's urbanisation and back to nature. The painter spends months in the area around Hoogeveen, Nieuw-Amsterdam/Veenoord and goes to Zweeloo for a day. He uses his period in Drenthe to unwind and experiment with themes, colours and techniques. For him, it turned out to be three important months. He develops as an artist and the basis for his later masterpieces is created here.

Not only does the new exhibition show Travelling with Vincent- Van Gogh in Drenthe introduces visitors to the painter's least known works, but also establishes links with other artists and works relevant to Van Gogh's Drenthe period. In doing so, it shows a beautiful and interesting overview of not only the landscape of Drenthe, but also gets to know Van Gogh's contemporaries and sources of inspiration.

Journey through time 

Drenthe's oeuvre is small. There are currently twenty-two works, in which the whereabouts of three works are unknown. This is the first exhibition to show sixteen of his 'Drenthe works' in one exhibit. In 2015, the museum started to put Vincent's Drenthe footsteps on the map. It is often unknown to the general public that he visited the province. I was aware of it, but not to what extent or what artworks Van Gogh created in and about Drenthe.

The connections the exhibition makes with his contemporaries and sources of inspiration gives the museum visit an extra dimension. Not only do you experience how Vincent and his contemporaries viewed the Drenthe of the time, but I also saw wonderful works that were unknown to me. A watercolour by Van Gogh, for example, which belongs to a private collection in Canada. The work, Landscape with a farmhouse, stands out because the colour palette used is just a little more cheerful than the rest of his Drenthe oeuvre. Impressive. I was also charmed by his drawings: especially of Potato peeler (Sientje), Orchard and Ploeger.

Links

Van Gogh's work is pleasing to the eye. However, he was not an island. He too had sources of inspiration. Besides, everyone has a different perspective on a scene. A different style. Drenthe was a popular place for artists at the time. The set-up of Travelling with Vincent, showing Drenthe through the eyes of other artists and Van Gogh's contemporaries ensures that you see and learn about the various facets of the province. In addition, my palette of artists has expanded.

Of course, Vincent plays the main role in the exhibition, with the works especially for me: Landscape with peat heap and farms, Two women in the moor, The peat barge not to mention On herb-burning farmer. However, the works of the 'extras' also certainly charmed me. Beautiful drawings by Suze Robertson, who was also called the 'female Van Gogh', and Jean-François Millet. Julius van de Sande Bakhuyzens Drents Landscape with cows and farmer's wife and Evening Evening by Jules Dupré are also brilliant.

Travel and admire

That art of the past can be shown in an interactive and dynamic way is well demonstrated by the Drents Museum. After the 'prologue', you travel by train - I don't think Vincent was bothered by the capriciousness of the NS - from The Hague towards his period in Drenthe. Historic compartments with comfortable benches facing each other where one can read quotes from Vincent's letters to his brother Theo on one side and projections of Van Gogh's Drenthe artworks, among others, on the other.

The exhibition is divided into five themes: soil & air, light & dark, man, house, peat and peat. The colours of these themes are based on the Drenthe palette that Vincent saw and described. When you walk towards a room, your curiosity piques; which paintings belong to the theme and this colour. When you get closer you see some scenes of a painting. However, you only have a sense of the beauty on display when you stand right in front of the room.

Follow the footsteps

The Drents Museum has also organised a programme around the 140th anniversary of Van Gogh's visit to the province. Don't forget to take a tour of historic Assen, because not only is Vincent at the head of the Vaart canal, several shops have decorated their windows/windows with impressive Van Gogh-inspired art. A visit to Travelling with Vincent shows both Van Gogh's unknown works and also highlights the 'forgotten or unknown' artists and their works. It also emphasises the beauty and importance of the Drenthe area, which I think is always a good idea.

Retrieved from journey with Vincent- Van Gogh in Drenthe can be seen until 7 January 2024.

For more information: www.drentsmuseum.nl/van-gogh and www.vangoghdrenthe.nl

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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