The life of an artist is a mystery that takes much research and study to unearth. However many documentaries are made, many pieces are left out, like an unfinished jigsaw puzzle. Art lovers and enthusiasts spend their lifetimes researching every painting to understand the story that formed it. But imagine experiencing these stories within a day spent in a quaint little village in Europe called Nuenen.

This village in the Netherlands was home to Vincent Van Gogh during his early years. He lived here for just two years, but it was the most significant period in terms of laying the foundation for his journey as an artist. It was through the walks he took here and his interactions with the peasants and commoners that he created realist paintings in the era of Impressionism. Before moving to Belgium and then to France for further studies, Van Gogh's identity was particularly shaped by his life in Nuenen. "The Potato Eaters" was created by Van Gogh while he was in this village after his encounter with a peasant family. And today, Nuenen is home to 24 locations that are immortalized by Van Gogh in his paintings and sketches or that have some connection with him.

Nuenen is a place in the Dutch province of North Brabant , located in the meierij 's-Hertogenbosch , between Helmond and Eindhoven. Vincent van Gogh lived in Nuenen from December 1883 until November 1885. And if you want to tread in the footsteps of this world-famous artist, here’s the trail you could follow. The Opwetten Water Mill at Nuenen is almost like living in one of Van Gogh's paintings. Van Gogh frequented this water mill and has even mentioned working here in one of his letters to his brother Theo. Water Mill at Opwetten is an oil painting created in 1884 by Vincent van Gogh. It’s one of his first notable works that precedes his early masterpiece, The Potato Eaters.

Old Church Tower at Nuenen (or The Peasants' Churchyard) are names given to several oil paintings and drawings created in 1884 and 1885 by Vincent van Gogh. Most reflect the way the 12th-century church looked in its better days, when its spire was intact and its foundation formidable. Van Gogh could greatly connect with the people of the village and engage in talks with them to understand their lives and reflect on them through his works. His portraits were a result of the close observations he made through those encounters.

Van Gogh's first large-scale painting, The Potato Eaters, was completed in 1885. A symbolic and physical representation of this painting is evident in this village, and it is an unmissable creation trail. Vincent often worked at the De Groot family's cottage, and it was there that he came up with the idea of painting The Potato Eaters. The family was comprised of mother Cornelia; her children, Hendrikus, Peter, and Gordina (Sien); and Gordina's son, Cornelis. Vincent often made portraits of Gordina (1855–1927). At least twenty studies of her are known, and it is certain that she is one of the figures depicted in The Potato Eaters.

The Potato Eaters was the first work Vincent considered a real painting, in contrast to the many painted studies he had made. It brought together elements that had greatly concerned him, such as figure studies and the creation of contrasts between light and dark. In addition, The Potato Eaters fulfilled Vincent's desire to produce a genuine painting of peasants. From his writing, it is clear that Vincent also sought greater meaning in the work. The painting is still considered Vincent's best work from his Dutch period. There are three different painted versions of The Potato Eaters: a sketch, a study, and the final work. Vincent also produced a lithograph based on the study.

The house of Margot Begemann is another poignant detail of Van Gogh's life in Nuenen. The love affair they had, the walks they took together, and her home, where they have spent time together, are subtly showing an emphatic emotional side to the artist.

The Van Gogh Village, or Vincentre, is a nice culmination of the works of the artist made in Nuenen. The museum showcases both indoor and outdoor exhibits of all his notable works, styles, and lives. A detailed analysis of The Potato Eaters, a photo booth exhibit letting us be a part of the iconic painting, and a demonstration of light and shadow implied in his works are just a few attractions to the wholesome experience of the art museum.

History accounts for many artists who saw failures, but there's only one who lived in disheartenment but kept creating art to remain sane and passionate, and then he doesn't live to see the world celebrate him and his art. But today he's celebrated as an icon of not just art by the millennials. Vincent Van Gogh is more than an artist today. He represents thoughts like: failure is not for a lifetime to decide; a legend never dies; and the most enthusing one quoted by the artist himself: "In spite of everything, I shall rise again."