Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Nuenen, March-May 1885
oil on canvas,
43.8 cm x 30.0 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Van Gogh painted this countrywoman in Nuenen, where he had returned to live with his parents. She posed for him, as did many other villagers. He regarded the paintings he made of them not as portraits, but as ‘study heads’. He passionately wanted to become a good figure painter and he regarded this activity as an essential preparatory exercise.
He aimed to produce a total of 50 such studies, of which 47 have survived. The Van Gogh Museum has 10 of them in its collection.