Weaver Facing Right


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Weaver Facing Right (F 0162, JH 0457) by Vincent van Gogh
Weaver Facing Right
Oil on canvas on panel
36.6 × 45 cm (14.375 × 17.625 in)
Private collection
Painted February 1884, Nuenen
F 162, JH 457

Vincent had become fascinated with the intricacies of the loom and the spirit of the hard working weavers as subject matter, and he mentions them frequently in his letters to Theo. But in most instances it is impossible to determine exactly which of the weaver paintings he is referring to. There are nine oil paintings of weavers, in addition to watercolor and drawn weavers.There are weavers facing right and weavers facing left. Much more interesting is the adversarial, cantankerous tone his letters sometimes take. Theo was not sending money fast enough to supply Vincent with the paint and materials he needed so he wrote to his brother,

"Today I brought home my 9th painted study of a weaver — painting costs money, and when I have to wait for paint, as I keep having to do, I waste time — and — come on — if you were a little enthusiastic about it, we’d have what’s needed. And what sort of an impression must it make, indirectly, on other people when you behave like this? It’s certainly hardly likely to create much confidence."
To Theo van Gogh, 15-19 March 1884

Some people have stated that at this stage in his career as an artist Vincent captured the workings and details of the loom better than he did the people in the painting. He was aware of his shortcomings in painting people, and models were either expensive or hard to find, but he was soon to embark on a long series of studies of peasant's heads in an attempt to improve.

Below we have included a detail image of the worker and part of the loom so you can judge for yourself.

Weaver Facing Right sold at a Christie's New York auction on 3 November 2009 for US$818,500, exceeding the $600,000 high estimate.

ALSO KNOWN AS
Weaver: The Whole Loom, Facing Right

PROVENANCE
C. Mouwen, Jnr., Breda;
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam;
H.P. Bremmer, The Hague;
Heirs of H. P. Bremmer, The Hague;
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (Loan);
Sale, Christie's, New York (3 November 2009);
Private collection.

Weaver Facing Right Detail
Weaver Facing Right Detail (F 0162, JH 0457) by Vincent van Gogh