Nuenen is a small town in the North Brabant district of the Netherlands where Vincent van Gogh lived from 1883-1885. In 1882, Van Gogh’s father became a pastor in Nuenen, and the family lived in the vicarage, the residence provided by the church, also known as a parsonage or rectory.
In early December of 1883, Van Gogh left Drenthe for Nuenen, and moved into the vicarage with his family. The laundry at the back of the house was turned into a sort studio and storage for him. Van Gogh’s father wrote to Theo saying,
“We do not think it’s really suitable, but we have had a proper stove installed (…). I wanted to put in a large window as well, but he prefers not to have one.”
It was during this time that Van Gogh had an interest in peasants and laborers and created numerous character studies of peasants and weavers such as The Potato Eaters. He also created a painting of his father’s church, Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church, and several of the vicarage and the surrounding area, The Vicarage at Nuenen, 1885, The Parsonage at Nuenen by Moonlight, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in the Snow and The Parsonage Garden in the Snow.