Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, June 1886
oil on cardboard,
46.4 cm x 38.1 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Practice makes perfect: in June 1886, van Gogh painted this study of a plaster model of a classical sculpture. It was part of a whole series of such studies. This standing torso of Venus must have been his favourite model: he made no fewer than five studies of it. Two of them are now in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum.
Van Gogh painted the background deep blue. He thought there was ‘nothing so fine as [cobalt blue] for putting space around things’ – in other words, for creating an illusion of depth.