The Brabant-born and raised artist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) has acquired an increasingly prominent place in Het Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in recent years. He found his inspiration in the landscape and among the people of his native region and chose the theme to which he remained faithful throughout his life as an artist.
From 26th March 2021, the museum will open the permanent, extensive presentation of Van Gogh in Brabant. Paintings, letters, photos, animations and other objects tell about Van Gogh’s early artistry and about the connection with his beloved Brabant.
The only place in Brabant where Van Gogh’s work can be seen
The Noordbrabants Museum is the only place in Brabant where works by Van Gogh can be admired. After the first purchase in 1984 and a gradually increasing number of loans from fellow museums and private individuals, the museum has been able to significantly strengthen the collection over the past four years. Due to the growing Van Gogh collection and the importance of Van Gogh to North Brabant, it has now been decided to dedicate an entire room to the artist. This also provides the opportunity to present his Brabant work in a broader context.
Paintings are the core
The new presentation examines Van Gogh’s development as a painter and highlights the most important themes from his Brabant period: the rural environment, peasant life and the still life. Five of the twelve works on display are the property of Het Noordbrabants Museum. Loans from the collections of the Van Gogh Museum, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Rijksmuseum, Centraal Museum and private individuals are also on display. In the coming years, an interesting selection from Van Gogh’s Brabant oeuvre will be shown by changing works. In addition, the museum remains interested in possible new acquisitions. From Brabant’s ‘painter menneke’ to a worldwide phenomenon. Naturally, the presentation also pays ample attention to Van Gogh’s life. Vincent lived half of his life in Brabant and was formed here. A timeline runs through the presentation and provides a good picture of Vincent’s life with personal documents, photos and animated excerpts from letters. A link is also made between Van Gogh and Brabant’s heritage. Objects such as baskets, spades and hats painted by Van Gogh give an impression of everyday life. It also shows how Van Gogh grew from a Brabant ‘painter’s man’ to a worldwide phenomenon.
Poem by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
Especially for this presentation, International Booker Prize winner Marieke Lucas Rijneveld wrote a poem about Van Gogh. Reading his letters and studying his work resulted in a poetic triptych that captures Van Gogh’s thoughts and feelings. Marieke Lucas herself recorded this poem in the film by Roel van Tour, also made as a triptych, which can be seen on large screens when entering the room. The powerful images of the untouched places that Brabant still knows and the striking words of Marieke Lucas immediately transport the visitor to the Brabant farm life of that time and thus to the world of Van Gogh. Digital visit Because an open museum is not self-evident in the near future, you can visit the presentation digitally from 26th March. The now permanent presenter of the online museum tour, Lucas De Man, takes visitors through the new presentation. With the necessary humor and inexhaustible curiosity, he asks our curator Helewise Berger all about the life of Van Gogh.
Photo by Jan-Kees-Steenman
The tour can be viewed free of charge via www.hnbm.nl/tour