Water Mill at Kollen Near Nuenen


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Water Mill at Kollen Near Nuenen
Oil on canvas on cardboard
57.5 × 78 cm (22.75 × 30.75 in)
Private collection
Painted May 1884, Nuenen
F 48a, JH 488

Vincent described this painting in a letter to his friend, the painter Anthon van Rappard, "Since you left I’ve been working on a Water mill — the one I asked about in that little inn at the station, where we sat talking with that man whom I told you seemed to suffer from a chronic shortage of small change in his pocket. It’s the same sort of thing as the two other water mills that we visited together, but with two red roofs, and which one views square on from the front — with poplars around it. Will be magnificent in the autumn."
Letter to Anthon van Rappard, 29 May 1884

Perhaps more interesting, certainly more amusing, is the reference to the man in the inn that must have asked Vincent for some small change. Rappard and van Gogh were friends and exchanged letters for several years, but they had a falling out when Rappard offered blunt criticism about his work The Potato Eaters, and it is said he also failed to send condolences about the death of Vincent's father.

Since the death of S. J. Lefrak in 2003 this work has been in a private collection, probably belonging to the Lefrak family.

ALSO KNOWN AS
Water Mill at Kol, Near Nuenen

PROVENANCE
C. Mouwen, Jr., Breda;
Sale Mouwen, Amsterdam (F. Muller) 3 May 1904);
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam;
Unger en Van Mens Art Gallery, Rotterdam;
Private collection, Netherlands;
Sale Amsterdam (Mak van Waay) 25 April 1966;
Sale New York (Parke-Bernet) 6 April 1967;
Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Lefrak;
Private collection.