It was created during van Gogh's visit in Hoogeveen, in the province of Drenthe. The landscape there is sandy, soggy and swampy, but the artist found it still, peaceful and indescribably beautiful. He expressed it in some 22 letters written in the fall of 1883 from September to November.
He went on long trips to explore surrounding moors and landscape untouched by industrial development visible in larger communities. Inspired by the work of Jean-François Millet, the artist become increasingly interested in peasant lifestyle, determined by nature. The subordinate to nature is visible in architecture, thatch-covered farm buildings are unobtrusive, they follow the nature and fit into it. This is reflected in colour, the soil and dwellings are integrated.