Van Gogh in 1883-1885, a peasant painter, Van Gogh Museum

During his two-year stay in Nuenen, he completed numerous drawings and watercolours, and nearly 200 oil paintings. His palette consisted mainly of sombre earth tones, particularly dark brown, not in keeping with the bright style of Impressionism, and showed no sign of the vivid colours that distinguish his later work.

Vincent moved back in with his parents in December 1883. He initially worked in a small studio at the back of the house, but after a few months, he rented a larger space elsewhere in the village.

Nuenen was an ideal setting for a ‘peasant painter’. It was home to many farmers, rural labourers and weavers, who Vincent sketched and painted at every opportunity. He proposed in early 1884 that he should start giving Theo the works he produced in return for the allowance provided by his brother.

‘Now I have a proposal to make for the future. Let me send you my work and you take what you want from it, but I insist that I may consider the money I would receive from you after March as money I’ve earned.’

The idea was that Theo would sell the paintings on the Paris art market, but the plan came to nothing: French tastes ran more to colour, and Vincent’s work was distinctly dark in tone. This would change, but not for a while yet.

Vincent’s parents found it hard to live with their eldest son, who refused to behave conventionally. Shortly after his father died in late March 1885, Van Gogh left the family home and moved into his studio, where he started work on The Potato Eaters.

Vincent combined his hard work on “that thing with the peasants around a dish of potatoes in the evening” with chain smoking and a poor diet. Most of his money went on artist’s materials. Later that year, he decided to enrol at the academy of art in Antwerp and left the Netherlands, never to return.

Antwerp had plenty to offer Vincent: good materials, drawing clubs with models, and churches, museums and galleries stuffed with art. The drawing classes he took at the academy were, however, far too traditional for him.

‘I actually find all the drawings I see there hopelessly bad — and fundamentally wrong. And I know that mine are totally different — time will just have to tell who’s right. Damn it, not one of them has any feeling for what a classical statue is.’

He did not stay in the Flemish city for long. He arranged with Theo to come to Paris and take lessons in the studio of Fernand Cormon – an artist who was very popular with foreign students. Theo began to look for an apartment large enough for him and his brother, but before he could find one, Vincent turned up in Paris unannounced at the end of February 1886.

Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum has the largest Van Gogh collection in the world It comprises 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by Vincent van Gogh.The Van Gogh Museum is a museum dedicated to the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, on the Paulus Potterstraat and the Museumplein in Amsterdam, in the Zuid district. The collection of the museum contains more than two hundred paintings, five hundred drawings and seven hundred letters from Vincent van Gogh, as well as his collection of Japanese prints, and the library comprises more than 23,000 works.

The museum is situated at the Museumplein in Amsterdam-Zuid, on the Paulus Potterstraat 7, between the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum The museum consists of two buildings, the Rietveld building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, and the Kurokawa wing, designed by Kisho Kurokawa The museum offices are housed on Stadhouderskade 55 in Amsterdam-Zuid.

The Rietveld building is the main structure of the museum and exhibits the permanent collection The building has a rectangular floor plan and is four stories high On the ground floor are a shop, a café, and the introductory part of the art exhibition The first floor shows the works of Van Gogh grouped chronologically The second floor gives information about the restoration of paintings and has a space for minor temporary exhibitions The third floor shows paintings of Van Gogh’s contemporaries in relationship to the work of Van Gogh himself.