Women Mending Nets in the Dunes

< PREVIOUS PAINTING Etten, The Hague & Drenthe Paintings NEXT PAINTING >
Women Mending Nets in the Dunes
Oil on paper on panel
42 × 62.5 cm (16.5 × 24.5 in)
François Odermatt Collection
Montreal, Québec
North America
Painted August 1882, The Hague
F 7, JH 178

The dark sky, light just above the horizon, and the deep green of the grass evokes a mood of the wet coast in this work. Vincent himself does the best job of explaining exactly what he saw, and his pleasure in capturing the scene and the mood, in a letter written to Theo.

"A large expanse in the dunes in the morning after rain — the grass is very green, relatively speaking, and the black nets are spread out on it in huge circles, creating tones on the ground of a deep, reddish black, green, grey. Sitting, standing or walking on this sombre ground like strange dark ghosts were women in white caps, and men who spread out or repaired the nets.

In nature it was as compelling, distinctive, sombre and severe as the finest one could imagine by Millet, Israëls or Degroux. Above the landscape a plain grey sky with a light band above the horizon. Despite showers of rain, I made a study of it on a sheet of oiled torchon."

To Theo van Gogh, 20 August 1882.

Mending the Nets

C. Mouwen, Jr., Breda;
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam;
J. Ribbius Peletier, Utrecht;
Doorn, Mrs. L. Schokking-Ribbius Peletier;
On loan, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague;
François Odermatt Collection, Montreal, Canada.