Is The Van Gogh Village Museum In Nuenen Worth Visiting?

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The van Gogh Village Museum in Nuenen, formerly Vincentre, has been thoroughly renovated and recently officially reopened by Queen Maxima. As a great admirer of Vincent van Gogh, I revisited this museum after the renovation and have described my impressions of the renovated van Gogh Village Museum for you in this review.

The Van Gogh Village Museum in Nuenen is worth visiting because you can get nowhere closer to the life of Vincent van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh lived opposite this museum between 1883 and 1885 and painted almost 25% of his entire oeuvre during those two years.

This makes Vincent van Gogh’s time in Nuenen an extraordinary period. Vincent van Gogh lived in many places in the Netherlands, but this period in Nuenen was the most productive of his life as a painter.

The van Gogh Village Museum in Nuenen
The Van Gogh Village Museum in Nuenen

The van Gogh Village Museum focuses on the life and work of Vincent van Gogh during this period in Nuenen from December 1883 to November 1885.

Vincent van Gogh came to Nuenen from Drenthe, where, as so often in his life, he was again lonely and miserable after leaving The Hague. After three months, he was tired of the cold and rain in Drenthe and fled to his parents in Nuenen to recover from an illness and a short vacation.

However, van Gogh liked it so much in Brabant that he stayed in Nuenen for almost two years.

Where Is The Van Gogh Village Museum?

Address: Berg 29, 5671 CA Nuenen

The Van Gogh Village Museum’s location is unique because Vincent van Gogh’s life in Nuenen played out around this museum.

Vincent van Gogh lived in Nuenen with his parents in the parsonage opposite the van Gogh Village Museum. This parsonage was built in 1764, making it one of the oldest buildings in Nuenen.

The van Gogh Village Museum is in the former town hall of Nuenen, built in 1874. So, the town hall existed when Vincent van Gogh lived in Nuenen between 1883 and 1885.

Vincent could see the town hall if he looked out of the windows of his parent’s house, and Vincent’s first studio was in the laundry room behind the parsonage.

For that reason alone, I don’t think you could have found a more suitable location for the Van Gogh Village Museum. When Vincent lived

Vincent van Gogh’s father was a pastor in Nuenen, and his church is also less than 200 meters away from the Van Gogh Village Museum.

If you leave the museum and walk to the right, you will find a bronze statue of his masterpiece, the Potato Eaters, in a little park down the road. The Potato Eaters were the De Groot family living in Nuenen, near the rectory and the van Gogh Village Museum.

Unfortunately, the de Groot family’s hut no longer exists, although the van Gogh Village Museum has a room decorated just like the potato eaters’ hut.

Impression of Nuenen in the time when Vincent van Gogh lived there
Impression of Nuenen in Vincent van Gogh’s Time

What Does The Van Gogh Village Museum Offer?

The van Gogh Village Museum tries to give visitors a glimpse into the life of Vincent van Gogh in Nuenen to understand Vincent van Gogh and his inspiration better.

The Van Gogh Village Museum is not large, but you can easily spend 2 hours there. I suggest visiting the Van van Gogh Village Museum as part of a day in Nuenen to see other Van Gogh sites in Nuenen as well.

Vincent found his inspiration as a painter in Nuenen by living in the countryside with the peasants and painting their daily lives. These peasants lived in abject poverty, and Vincent was close to their misery.

Vincent was also greatly influenced by the nature of Brabant. He always got up early during his stay in Nuenen and spent all day in nature or with the farmers in the fields or their huts. He felt at home with these people and became so absorbed in their lives that he could think of nothing else.

The van Gogh Village Museum tries to bring you back to the Nuenen of 140 years. For example, there are several rooms where you can see how and where Vincent lived and worked in and around Nuenen so that you can better understand his world.

Also, attention is paid to what people who knew Vincent van Gogh said about him. That’s interesting to hear and provides an entirely different insight into his character than his letters to his brother Theo.

It turns out that Vincent van Gogh made an impression on others with his curiosity, passion, and involvement in the lives of others.

I enjoyed the two short films shown in different rooms of the museum, where an actor portrayed Vincent, and these films visualized what Vincent thought and experienced.

That was a great addition and the most valuable part of the Van Gogh Village Museum for me as a Vincent van Gogh enthusiast.

The potato eaters’ hut reconstruction was also unique because you could sit there and imagine yourself in the conditions of that time. It’s probably also meant to appear a lot on social media, but I genuinely wish the Van Gogh Village Museum all the best with that.

You won’t find any paintings by Van Gogh in the Van Gogh Museum; for that, you’ll have to visit one of the more prominent museums in the Netherlands.

For example, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has the world’s most extensive painting by Vincent van Gogh collection. On this website, you can find a review of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam elsewhere.

Another excellent opportunity to enjoy the magnificent paintings of van Gogh is in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.

However, the Van Gogh Village Museum does own some paintings of Vincent van Gogh’s contemporaries, such as Philip Sadée, a painter whom Vincent van Gogh admired immensely.

The Van Gogh Village Museum; Practical Information

DayOpening Hours
Tuesday10:00 – 17:00 hr.
Wednesday10:00 – 17:00 hr.
Thursday10:00 – 17:00 hr.
Friday10:00 – 17:00 hr.
Saturday10:00 – 17:00 hr.
Sunday10:00 – 17:00 hr.

Check the Van Gogh Village Museum website to see if any public holiday or similar event might cause them to be closed.

You have free access to the Van Gogh Village Museum with a Museum Pass, but you can also buy tickets at the ticket counter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands?

If you want to discover which van Gogh Museum in The Netherlands is a must-see and which one you can skip, you can find an overview of the 4 Dutch van Gogh Museums elsewhere on this website.

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Pim Tijburg
Pim has lived his entire life in The Netherlands and he enjoys writing this blog about his home country. His mission is to make you like The Netherlands as much as he does.