VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-90) is arguably the most popular, most reproduced and talked-about of all modern artists,” says the 7th edition of the Rough Guide to the Netherlands, so it’s no surprise that the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, home to the world’s largest collection of his work, “can get very crowded, and the queues can be long.”
As an alternative to arriving very early or braving the crush, the Gogh-ophile could take a day trip from Amsterdam to the Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe, north of Arnhem, and the Kröller-Müller Museum (http://krollermuller.nl) at its centre.
The national park—lakes, dunes and woodlands—was once the private estate of Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller, whose wealth came from making blast furnaces. They gave their land to the state in the 1930s along with Helene Kröller-Müller’s extensive art collection, now housed in a purpose-built compound.
“It’s one of the country’s finest art museums,” says the guidebook, “comprising a wide cross-section of modern European art from Impressionism to Cubism and beyond.” Van Gogh was Helene’s favourite artist, “and the collection reflects her enthusiasm: the museum owns 91 of his paintings and 180 drawings, representing the largest collection of his works in the world bar the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.”
Among the museum’s best-known works are Café Terrace at Night and Bridge at Arles.
From Amsterdam, take a train southeast to Arnhem (70 minutes), the #105 bus to Otterlo (30 minutes) and the #106 bus to the museum (10 minutes). Weekday service is every 30 minutes; hourly on weekends.
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