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Drents Museum, Assen

Vincent van Gogh’s time in ‘the painter’s paradise of Drenthe’ played a vital role in his artistic development, for this is when he definitively decided to become a painter of peasant life. The painting The Peat Boat, on view as part of the Drents Museum’s permanent collection, portrays the gruelling labour of working in the peat bogs. The harshness of this life is expressed in the peat-cutters’ daily routine of carrying the peat and loading it on the barge for transportation to the big cities. On view in the museum alongside the Van Gogh are paintings by contemporaries who were inspired by Drenthe as the ‘last unspoiled region’ of the Netherlands.

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'Drenthe is so beautiful, it overwhelms me.'
Vincent van Gogh