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Title A Peasant Woman Digging
Original Translation Femme bÍchant
Collection Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham
Artist Gogh, Vincent van (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1853-1890)
Date 1885
Description Van Gogh lived for two years at Nuenen in Holland painting peasant subjects. In such works he used a palette of drab colours, far removed from the vibrant contrasting pigments of his radical paintings. He wrote to his brother in July 1885 about a 'woman ... seen from the front, her head almost on the ground, digging carrots'. 'I have been watching those peasant figures for more than a year and a half', he added, 'just to catch their character'. The artist was convinced that he got 'better results by painting them in their roughness than by giving them a conventional charm'.
Current Accession Number 61.8
Subject everyday life; figure
Measurements 42.4 x 32.3 cm
Material oil on canvas (laid on panel)
Acquisition Details Purchased from Mrs Gillian Solomons (later Sinclair-Hogg) 1961 for £10,000.
Provenance Private collection, Germany.
Principal Exhibitions Nineteenth and Twentieth Century European Masters, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London, 1959, cat. no. 77; Vincent van Gogh, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 1985, cat. no. 33; French Impressionism: Treasures from the Midlands, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, 1991, p. 42; The Real van Gogh: The Artist and his Letters, Royal Academy, London, 2010, cat. no. 38.
Publications Faille, J.-B. de la, The works of Vincent van Gogh, London, 1970, no. F 95a; Heugten, S. van, Vincent van Gogh Drawings, London, 1997, II, pp. 203-10; Lodge, D., 'My favourite painting', Country Life, 24 March 2010, p. 56.
Notes No details of provenance before 1961. The previous owner died in 1997.
Rights Owner The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham
Author Dr Nicola Gauld/Barber Institute



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