Head of a Peasant Woman with Red Cap F 160


Head of a Peasant Woman with Red Cap (F 160, JH 648) by Vincent van Gogh
Head of a Peasant Woman with Red Cap
Oil on canvas
43.2 × 30 cm (17 × 11.8 in)
Van Gogh Museum
Amsterdam
Netherlands
Europe
Painted April 1885, Nuenen
F 160, JH 722

An interesting work as we know the model was Gordina de Groot, a local woman that Vincent used in at least 20 studies, and a member of the family featured in his first masterpiece, The Potato Eaters. In fact he liked this work so much that he actually signed it, according to reference materials, though the signature is almost impossible to see in photographic images. It seems to be in the lower left corner, roughly, a reddish scrawl almost hidden in the darkness.

Vincent painted over 40 studies of peasant heads in the winter of 1884-1885, and worked to capture the hard life they lived with rough brush strokes and emphasis on the angular structure of their faces. Most of these were painted in the evening, in the peasants cottages, by lamplight. He wrote to his brother Theo about the appearance of the local farmers he so loved to paint.

"They remind one of the earth, sometimes appear to have been modeled out of it."
Letter to Theo van Gogh 4-5 May 1885

ALSO KNOWN AS
Peasant Woman n a Red Bonnet
Head of a Woman

PROVENANCE
Mrs. J. van Gogh-Bonger, Amsterdam;
V. W. van Gogh, Laren;
Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam, Netherlands.