Zundert celebrated its 850th anniversary recently, therefore it is a borough with a long history. Zundert is famous because it is the birthplace of Vincent van Gogh, the studio and holiday house of the art couple Henriëtte and Richard Holst are in Achtmaal and Rijsbergen has a nice Cultural Historical Art Centre where various historical themes of our community are represented.
The world famous painter Vincent van Gogh was born in Zundert on March 30th 1853. He was born exactly a year after his stillborn brother Vincent. You can visit the tombstone of this first Vincent in the churchyard next to the Protestant Church. At that time the father of Vincent Theodorus van Gogh was the Resident Minister.
From those days the Sexton’s House next-door exists. This historical building is a studio and accommodation for artists who want to be inspired by the birthplace of Van Gogh and the surrounding countryside just like he did.
In the letters to his brother Theo, Vincent writes how he longs for Zundert and he tells how his artistic calling was founded there. Although he only sold one painting during his life, he had an enormous influence on modern art, which was practised after him.
Ossip Zadkin made a statue in which you can see the close connection between the two brothers. You can see the statue on the Vincent van Gogh Square. The Vincent van GoghHouse is an interactive museum, which stands on Vincent’s native soil.
The female writer and politician Henriëtte Roland Holst liked to spend her summer holidays in the Angora Homestead on the country estate “Oude Buisse Heide”. There she wrote most of her poetry books, biographies and political books. She described the place as: ”So charming, peaceful and idyllic.”
Here she spent her days “walking, cycling, swimming and lazing in the forest”. Here she wrote countless poems about nature. A marked trail takes you along her favourite spots. The wonderful paths, pools and heather have never lost their beauty. Along this trail there are note plates with poems from Henriëtte Roland Holst.
Her husband Richard Roland Holst was also inspired by this special landscape. His studio still stands. In the mansion room of the neighbouring farm the couple welcomed famous artists and politicians.
Roland Holst & de Buisse Heide
In 2012 sixty years after “the greatest female poet of the Netherlands” Henriëtte Roland Holst passed away, the Vincent van Gogh House and the National Trust organised a special Roland Holst year. On the country estate the “Buisse Heide” were an exhibition, a book, a film and many activities. The Roland Holst year in Zundert was part of the National Theme of the year of Historical Country Estates in 2013.