Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Antwerp, December 1885
oil on canvas,
35.2 cm x 24.4 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
By choosing this contemporary subject, Van Gogh presented himself as a modern painter of city life. That included the margins of society and the prostitutes who lived there.
This woman may not look like a prostitute at first glance. But in the nineteenth century, loose hair was a sign of loose morals. Van Gogh used rough brushstrokes to paint her face. He succeeded in giving her features volume and life.