Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Nuenen, March-May 1885
oil on canvas,
45.5 cm x 33.0 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Here, Van Gogh was practising painting strong contrasts between light and dark, using only a few colours – ochre for hands and face and green for background and clothing.
The woman is wearing a ‘falie’ or mourning shawl. If you look carefully, you can just spot a white bonnet peeping out from under it. In the spring and summer of 1885, Van Gogh drew and painted other women wearing shawls over their heads in this way. They were worn at funerals or when in mourning.