The Old Church Tower at Nuenen


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The Old Church Tower at Nuenen by Vincent van Gogh
The Old Church Tower at Nuenen
Oil on canvas on panel
47.5 × 55 cm (18.75 × 21.75 in)
Signed in lower right: Vincent
Stiftung Sammlung E.G. Bührle (The E.G. Bührle Collection)
Zurich
Switzerland
Europe
Painted May 1884, Nuenen
F 88, JH 490

Theo had once told Vincent that the old church tower would make a good subject and Vincent took it to heart, making 11 drawings and paintings of the structure. The church was built in the 12th century when Christianity was spreading through the area, and was already 700 years old when Vincent painted it. It also was not just as Vincent presents it. Already the spire was gone, demolished in 1792, and the structure was crumbling when Vincent did some early watercolors. As he turned these into oil paintings the rest of the church was being demolished for scrap , and was gone soon after he completed his work.

PROVENANCE
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam;
J. A. Maas Geesteranus, Utrecht;
Paul Cassirer Art Gallery, Amsterdam;
Fritz Nathan Art Gallery, Zurich;
Stiftung Sammlung E.G. Bührle, Zurich (Acquired 1945).