If you’re a massive Van Gogh fan and traveling around Europe is on your bucket list, here are some fun tips on where to fulfill your Van Gogh fever!
There are many beautiful locations all over Europe where you can get close to Van Gogh – not only to see his artwork, but to visit places he painted or lived throughout his lifetime. There are so many locations, in fact, that we have put together a short list of our favourite places. So, get ready to plan your big trip to Europe after reading about these must-see Van Gogh destinations! Van (Go)gh to Europe!
Although the Van Gogh Museum is the obvious choice to see Van Gogh works, you will also be delighted by the Van Gogh Gallery in the Kröller-Müller. It is nestled in a National Park, so the location is beautiful and serene – the best atmosphere for enjoying artwork. Photos are even allowed in the museum, and although the paintings are protected by glass, you can get a close look at many of his famous paintings such as “Café Terrace at Night, “Sorrowing Old Man ('At Eternity's Gate')”, and “Country Road in Provence by Night.” It also displays a lot of his earlier works and is the second largest Van Gogh collection in the world!
Credit: Kröller-Müller Museum / photo: Marjon Gemmeke
If you are wanting to fully connect with Van Gogh’s roots, Brabant is the place to do so! This is the small town where Van Gogh grew up and has many landmarks you can visit during your stay. Often called an outdoor museum of Van Gogh, just taking a stroll through the town of Brabant will take you on a tour of an area that inspired Van Gogh’s work much later in life. It is home to the Vincent van Gogh Huis, the art room at his school and a statue of Vincent and his brother Theo. There is also a number of Van Gogh related events and activities that are put on for visitors at different times of the year.
Credit: Kröller-Müller Museum / photo: Marjon Gemmeke
Belgium, besides being home to great waffles and beer, is also known to be where Van Gogh first became an artist after giving up on becoming a Protestant pastor. Here, you can visit the house where Van Gogh completed his first paintings, Maison Van Gogh. It was saved from ruins in the 1970s and is now open to the public. The house is located in a historical mining area, the Borinage, where miners were earning just 2.5 francs a day. When the Belgium Church disowned Van Gogh, he told his brother Theo that he would focus on being an artist but sometimes would go to assist the miners. The community there today is very proud of the connection with Van Gogh and there are many places to see visit that Van Gogh once visited himself, including the mine.
Next stop? Provence, France! Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works were painted when he was a patient at the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. This is the perfect place to see some real locations and spots that Van Gogh painted while in the asylum, and there is even a collection of works called “Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Remy.” Provence is where he painted his collection of “The Irises” you can even visit the hospital and its gardens, now renamed Clinique Van Gogh. While you’re here, explore the area where Van Gogh spent the last part of his life and visit the Rhone River, the muse for Gogh’s “Starry Night over Rhone.”
The Saint-Paul Asylum Van Gogh was in! These are the very fields he painted!
After leaving Provence, Van Gogh travelled north to Auvers-Sur-Oise. This is where you can see some of the most significant landmarks of Van Gogh’s life. Here in this town, you will find the room, at the famous inn Auberge Ravoux, where Van Gogh took his own life. Despite being recently restored, it is a sombre room, with not much light coming from just one window. A short distance away you can visit his gravestone that sits next to his brother’s, Theo. As of late - Van Gogh’s gravestone is being restored, so this would be a poignant landmark to visit on your travels.
Grave of Van Gogh - recently there has been a project to restore it!
Van Gogh moved to Paris to live with his brother in Montmartre, Paris after living in Belgium. The apartment is a private residence now, but you can see it designated with a marble plaque. You can also visit the oldest surviving vineyard in Paris, where Van Gogh would often go to paint. And of course, while in Paris you can visit many of his masterpieces at Musée d’Orsay. "Starry Night Over the Rhone," "Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles," "Self-Portrait," 1889 and "The Church at Auvers," are just a few of the highlights from the museum’s Van Gogh collection, which has over 25 works on display.
Photo Credit: Musée d’Orsay
Of course, there are many museums and galleries with Van Gogh pieces – these are just a few of our favourites that hold some of Van Gogh’s most riveting history. When you get stuck into planning your next trip to Europe, or if you are planning one right now, be sure to stop and see at least one of these locations that are greatly influenced by one of the most loved impressionist painters. If you can’t get enough, below are a few additional suggestions where you can stop to see even more Van Gogh!
If you're a big Van Gogh fan but don't have time or money to take a trip around Europe, you will be happy to discover you can now own a Van Gogh masterpiece with our incredible 3D re-creations, bringing Europe into your own home! Working with the National Gallery of Canada, Verus Art has launched a limited edition collection of 3D printed rec-creations that replicate the brushstrokes, colour and size of the original pieces. Check out "Iris" and "Bowl of Zinnias and Other Flowers" in our store.