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A remote farmers village in the north, The Netherlands

The mysterious arrival of a gentleman

How the first (German!) artist arrived and set up in the tiny town of Zweeloo, is unknown. Well-dressed gentleman Max Liebermann, from Berlin, stayed in the local inn and came with a recommendation from his friend Jozef Israëls. What did he search for in the remote village? What does a wealthy city man need in the north of Drenthe? Max Liebermann said: “Ruysdael and Hobbema must have studied here, the character of their work reflects this place and since then nothing has changed”. His main inspiration? The people. 

Liebermann was not the first painter to visit Zweeloo and certainly not the last. His painting of Die Rasenbleiche attracted attention at the Salon in Paris and inspired other painters to visit Zweeloo as well. Most famous among these painters was Vincent van Gogh, who came to visit Liebermann in the winter of 1883. These two great names truly put Zweeloo on the map as an artist’ colony. The Foundation Kunstenaarsdorp Zweeloo preserves the cultural heritage of the village and promotes contemporary art by organizing activities and exhibitions. The story of Liebermann in Zweeloo and the 19th century painters of Zweeloo are highlighted in the old local inn, where all the painters in town lodged and worked.

The main artists who lived and worked here:

Egbert van Drielst (*1745 – 1818)
Jan van Ravenswaay (*1789 – 1869)
Willem Roelofs (*1822 – 1897)
Jozef Israëls (*1824 – 1911)
Julius Jacobus van de Sande Bakhuyzen (*1835 – 1925)
Alexander Mollinger (*1836 – 1867)
Adolphe Artz (*1837 – 1890)
Anton Mauve (*1838 – 1888)
Francois Pieter ter Meulen (*1843 – 1927)
Max Liebermann (*1847 – 1935)
Alphonse Stengelin (*1852 – 1938)
Vincent van Gogh (*1953 – 1890)

Aelderstraat 21A
7854 RN Aalden
+ 31 591 372299
Alderman for Culture
Bea Meppelink-de Jager
Kasteel 1
7741 GC Coevorden
+31 524 598598