Head of a Peasant Woman with White Cap

Head of a Peasant Woman with White Cap

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Painting Date
15th of March 1885
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“Vincent van Gogh executed nearly 50 studies of heads in preparation for his first large-scale painting, The Potato Eaters (1885). Head of a Peasant Woman in a White Bonnet is one of 10 studies representing Sien de Groot, the artist’s mistress and the figure second from the left in the final painting. Van Gogh called the series “Heads of the People,” and he used working-class laborers for his subject matter because he thought their lives—simple and honest—would “teach something” to the urban bourgeoisie. The color, which is limited to black-infused red, blue, yellow and white, emphasizes the dirtiness of the figure, while the thick impasto reinforces the coarseness of her features. Together with the palette, these elements directly connect her to the earth off which she lived.”  Norton Simon Museum Website


Painting, Oil on Canvas on panel
Nuenen, The Netherlands: March, 1885
Norton Simon Museum
Pasadena, California, United States of America, North America
F: 85a, JH: 694

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