High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Van Gogh Painting Stolen From Dutch Museum
© Groninger Museum
© Groninger Museum © Groninger Museum

Van Gogh Painting Stolen From Dutch Museum

On Monday morning, a painting by Vincent van Gogh was stolen from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands that is shuttered to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The theft took place on the same day as the artist’s birthday.

It concerns the painting Spring Garden, the Parsonage Garden in Nuenen in Spring from 1884. The painting, on display as part of the museum’s exhibition Mirror of the Soul – From Toorop to Mondrian, was on loan from the Groninger Museum.

‘We are deeply shocked, angry and saddened’, said museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm. ‘A magnificent and poignant painting by one of our greatest artists has been taken from the community. It is terrible for the Groninger Museum and for Singer Laren, but above all for every one of us. Art exists to be shared, to enjoy, to inspire and offer comfort, particularly in times such as these. Art is vital to our culture.’

Police say thieves entered the museum at around 3.15 a.m. local time. They are currently examining security footage and investigating the crime.

By order of the insurance company and the police, the museum is not allowed to disclose its value. The Hague art dealer and Van Gogh specialist Ivo Bouwman estimates that the work of art is worth approximately one and a half million euros. He calls it ‘a nice little painting’.

Art thieves love Van Gogh. Works by the Dutch painter have been stolen in the Netherlands fourteen times since 1937.


The stolen work measures 25 by 57 cm and is made with oil paint on paper, which is stuck on wood. After his stay in Drenthe, Van Gogh (1853-1890) decided to go and live with his parents in Nuenen in Brabant around the end of 1883. His father had been appointed pastor of the small Reformed congregation there. In the spring Van Gogh recorded the garden of the presbytery in which the family lived. Earlier he made several drawings of the same garden.

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