In the summer of 1882 Max Liebermann, a well-dressed young man from Berlin, accompanied by his Dutch friend, the painter Jozef Israëls arrived in the local inn in Zweeloo. Israëls stayed one night, Liebermann the whole summer. Max felt at ease in the simple village, he liked the people, he appreciated the environment. He writes his brother ‘Ruysdael and Hobbema must have studied here, the character of their work reflects this place and since then nothing has changed’. He worked hard this summer on his paintings of the people in this remote place.
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 in 1883 and inspired other painters to visit Zweeloo as well. Most famous among these painters was Vincent van Gogh, who in vain came to visit Liebermann in the winter of 1883. Two great names among many other dutch and also foreign artists.
The Foundation Kunstenaarsdorp Zweeloo preserves and promotes 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 the painters lodged and worked.
The attractive surroundings of Zweeloo justify the claim ‘our museum is outside’ .
Many works of the artists are shown in reproductions in the streets and squares during the April – October period. To see all the 22 reproductions a bicycle route of 20 km is available.”