Vincent in Nuenen

This permanent exhibition in the Van Gogh Village Museum is all about Vincent’s life in Nuenen.

The tension at home and the tragic relationship with the lady next door all strengthened his determination to be an artist. He also gave lessons and invited his friends to Nuenen.

He walked endlessly, and if anything attracted his attention he made a mark with his foot in the soil, so that later on when the light was better, he could come back with his sketchbook.


Vincent's life in Nuenen

The potato eaters

Vincent decided to produce a large group portrait in Nuenen. Nuenen was the ideal place for this; the area suffered greatly from poverty, and he painted and sketched hard-working weavers, peasant and farmers. These included people at work in the fields, and indoor and outdoor details. Despite many setbacks, he persevered and produced hundreds of drawings and paintings as preliminary studies.

All this resulted in his first masterpiece The Potato Eaters.

The potato eaters

Vincents Lightlab

What is light and how does colour work? You can discover the effects of light and colour for yourself in a surprising way in Vincents Lightlab.

Vincent experimented with light and perspective in his paintings. Vincent learned more through trial and error, but above all through persistence. By so doing he discovered that he had to paint a red cloth in a dark cottage not with red paint, but with brown. So what happens with your eyes and in your brain?

You can experience this in Vincents Lightlab. 

Vincent’s Lightlab

But where it increasingly degenerates into an overproduction of paintings where all through the painting — in all 4 corners the same light, the same what I think they call day tone and local colour dominates, is this a good thing??? I think not.

Letter 535, Vincent Van Gogh to Theo van Gogh