Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Antwerp, December 1885
oil on canvas,
50.5 cm x 39.8 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
The old woman's grey hair sticks out from under her white cap. Van Gogh liked bonnets like this, which made a fine contrast with dark clothing and backgrounds. Using rough brushstrokes, Van Gogh suggested the shadows in her face.
In Antwerp (BE), Van Gogh wanted to master portrait painting. He heard from local art dealers that women's heads sold better than men's. From that time on, he focused on female models.