GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)

Peasant Woman at the Spinning Wheel

February-March 1885, Nuenen
Oil on canvas, 41 x 33 cm
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo

Catalogue numbers: F 36, JH 698.

Van Gogh showed, in several drawings and paintings, women absorbed in work in the solitude of their homes. Sewing, spooling thread, peeling potatoes, shelling beans and preparing food were among the most frequently depicted subjects. During the day, light shone into the dark rooms through the windows, whereas lamp- or firelight illuminated the models in the evening.

Van Gogh's Nuenen interiors of peasant women engaged in their work convey a certain timelessness and reflect the influence of 17th-century Dutch genre painting.