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

Peasant Woman Digging

July-August 1885, Nuenen
Oil on canvas, 46 x 32 cm
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo

Catalogue numbers: F 166, JH 850.

During the summer of 1885 van Gogh decided to prepare a multi-figure genre scene by chalk drawings depicting peasants working on the fields, following the example of Jean-François Millet. Due to the negative criticism of his The Potato Eaters, he abandoned the stiffness and flatness of his figures and he took more care in modelling. In July, he tried his new style on some small studies in oil. We know about ten such paintings, most of which depict peasants digging, or potato planting, or harvesting. The present painting in Otterlo is one of these studies.