Woman Sewing, 1885
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
The woman appears as a dark silhouette against the window, the light falling on her sewing. At the time he made this study, Van Gogh was much occupied with the problem of painting a backlit figure in an interior. ‘Especially figures à contre jour. I have studies of heads, both lit and against the light, and I have worked on the whole figure a number of times, a seamstress, [someone] winding yarn or peeling potatoes. En face and en profil. I do not know whether or not I shall ever finish it, as this is a difficult effect, although I believe I have learned one or two things by it,’ he wrote to Theo in 1885.