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Vincent's Vision of Drenthe

It would take a van Gogh to capture Drenthe's many moods of landscape and light, especially when the summer fields are heavy with ripening crops. The traditional lives of this area's peasant farmers and peat cutters actually drew Vincent to the province for a 3-month sojourn in 1883, early in his career as a painter. "I am in a wonderful country," he wrote to his brother, Theo.

Vincent lodged for 2 months at a ferry-house-cafe in the village of Nieuw-Amsterdam, 8km (5 miles) south of Emmen. He had to leave because he couldn't afford the rent. Then owned by Hendrik Scholte, the Van Gogh House, in Van Goghstraat (tel. 0591/555-600; www.vangogh-drenthe.nl), has been restored to its 1883 condition and contains archival material on the artist. It's open for guided tours Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 4pm (last tour 3:15pm). Admission is 4.50€ ($7.20) for adults, and 3.50€ ($5.60) for children ages 5 to 13,and free for children 4 and under.

Among the works Vincent created during his stay in Drenthe in 1883 is an oil painting, Peat Boat With Two Figures, which you can view at the Drents Museum in Assen; and a watercolor, Drawbridge in Nieuw-Amsterdam, on display at the Groninger Museum in Groningen.