Vincent Van Gogh remains a beloved artist, celebrated for captivating countless hearts with his distinctive painting style—a mesmerising blend of colours and emotions that vividly documented his life’s artistic journey.

To truly delve into Van Gogh’s remarkable odyssey, one must venture beyond the confines of museum walls and explore the very landscapes that stirred Vincent’s inspiration across the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.

Prepare to follow in the footsteps of this visionary artist and discover a deeper appreciation for the man behind these timeless masterpieces.

1. Maison Van Gogh, Cuesmes, Belgium

In 1879, Vincent arrived at a mining town close to Cuesmes, where he served as a layman preacher until 1880. The Maison Van Gogh is today a small yet devoted museum, once the very residence where Vincent lived in an annexe alongside a local miner family.

Within these walls, Vincent commenced his artistic journey, crafting some of his initial drawings after experiencing dissatisfaction with his role as a preacher.

Although original artworks aren’t showcased here, visitors can delve into Vincent’s life in Borinage through a compelling one-hour film, understanding how this period significantly influenced his artistic endeavours.

Address: Rue du Pavillon 3, 7033 Mons, Belgium
Phone: +32 6533 5580

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2. Van Gogh Huis, Drenthe, the Netherlands

The Van Gogh Huis in Drenthe was once the Scholte lodging house, serving as Vincent’s residence and workplace for several months in 1883. Situated in a rural farming village, Drenthe’s tranquil simplicity and the perseverance of its farmers stirred Vincent’s creativity, inspiring him to encapsulate the essence of the Dutch countryside.

Within the expansive attic room of the lodge, Vincent found the solace and space to nurture his artistic talent, experimenting with various drawing techniques, including sketches, watercolours, and oil paintings. Some of his early works from the Drenthe period are now on display at the Drent Museum.

Recently renovated, the Van Gogh Huis in Drenthe offers visitors the chance to explore the very attic where Vincent lived. Preserved to mirror the exact description found in Vincent’s letters to his brother Theo, the room provides an authentic glimpse into Vincent’s life during his stay in Drenthe.

Address: Van Goghstraat 1, 7844 NP Veenoord, Netherlands
Contact: +31 591 555 600

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3. Van Gogh & Theo Apartment in Paris, France

Between 1886 and 1888, Van Gogh relocated to Paris alongside his art dealer brother, Theo. During their time in Paris, they resided in two separate apartments, one of which was situated in Montmartre. It was within the vibrant atmosphere of Paris that Van Gogh honed his impressionistic style, embracing a brighter colour palette that would define many of his paintings.

Their Montmartre apartment, just a brief stroll from the Basilica, is recognisable by its vivid blue door and a commemorative plaque honouring the brothers, Theo and Vincent.

In this residence, Van Gogh created several paintings, including ‘View from Theo’s Apartment,’ capturing Paris from the vantage point of the third floor. While observing the exterior of his former dwelling might seem underwhelming, the chance to follow Van Gogh’s path through his Parisian neighbourhood evokes a surreal and captivating experience.

Address: 54 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France

4. Saint-Paul de Mausole, Provence, France

In 1889, Vincent voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint Paul de Mausole asylum as his mental health declined. Throughout his one-year stay, despite his struggles, he remained tirelessly dedicated to painting, resulting in an astounding output of 142 artworks.

The Saint-Paul de Mausole asylum welcomes visitors, offering the opportunity to explore the room Vincent inhabited during his stay. This includes the bedroom from which he painted his iconic masterpiece, ‘Starry Night,’ providing a unique perspective as visitors gaze out from the very window that inspired one of his most celebrated works.

Address: 2 VC des Carrières, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Contact: +33 490 92 7700

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5. Auberge Ravoux Inn, Auvers-sur-Oise, France

Vincent sought refuge at the Auberge Ravoux Inn as his mental health improved. Auvers emerged as an ideal haven—it was close enough to Paris (where his brother, Theo resided) and had a nearby doctor who could provide regular care.

Tragically, the narrative took a sorrowful turn when Vincent’s life met a tragic end in 1890, making Auvers his final resting place. Presently, the Ravoux Inn has been transformed into a museum and memorial known as Maison de Van Gogh. Admission includes a guided tour offering a glimpse into Vincent’s room.

It’s an emotionally charged experience, yet visiting provides an invaluable opportunity to delve deeper into his life in Auvers-sur-Oise and pay homage to the legacies of Vincent and Theo Van Gogh.

Upon concluding the tour, visitors can retreat to the cafe—a space where Vincent spent a considerable amount of time. Grabbing a quick meal or coffee allows for contemplation, offering a moment to reflect on the intricate yet beautifully complex life of one of history’s most celebrated artists.

Address: 52 Rue du Général de Gaulle, 95430 Auvers-sur-Oise, France
Contact: +33 130 36 6060

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Museums with the best Van Gogh paintings

Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpieces are now showcased in some of the world’s most prestigious museums. Here are the best museums to get up close to some of Van Gogh’s masterpieces:

  1. Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo: ‘Cafe Terrace at Night’, ‘La Berceuse’, ‘Road with Cypress and Star’, and 11 other paintings.
  2. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam: ‘Sunflowers’, ‘Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat’, ‘Almond Blossom’, ‘The Potato Eaters’, and 43 other paintings
  3. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) New York: ‘The Starry Night’, ‘Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin’, and ‘The Olive Trees’.