In November 1884, Vincent van Gogh painted a large study of the Gennep water mill:
“These last few days, although it’s freezing quite hard here, I’ve been working outdoors on a rather large study (more than 1 metre) of an old water mill in Gennep, on the other side of Eindhoven. I want to finish the whole thing outdoors — but it will definitely be the last that I paint outdoors this year.” Read the complete letter
The tanner Anton Kerssemakers (1846–1924) was present when Vincent painted the work, and Kerssemakers made his own gouache of the mill. Vincent later painted a watercolour version of his painting. It is likely that he gave the study to Jansje van den Broek in exchange for tobacco. She ran a tobacconist’s in Eindhoven near Baijens’ shop, where Vincent bought art supplies.