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

Peasant Woman Planting Beets

July-September 1885, Nuenen
Black chalk, 522 x 435 mm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Catalogue numbers: F 1270, JH 821.

During the summer of 1885 van Gogh decided to prepare a multi-figure genre scene by chalk drawings depicting peasants working on the fields. 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 this period he executed about fifty large-scale chalk drawings that depict working peasants on the field. The lonely peasants who are portrayed concentrate on their tasks, digging, planting, bundling into sheaves or gathering the fallen wheat. With this series of drawings van Gogh wished to follow in the footsteps of those who influenced him, first and foremost Jean-François Millet.

The present drawing in the Rotterdam museum has all the characteristics of the group of drawings depicting peasants working on the fields.

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