Head of a Peasant Woman in a White Bonnet
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
On View

Fueled by his revolutionary politics, Van Gogh set out to paint a series of fifty “Heads of the People” in 1882, drawing inspiration for these grave, frontal portraits from the German Renaissance masters Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein. He resumed work on the project in 1884 and 1885, while living with his parents in Nuenen, where he used his neighbors as models. Sien de Groot was one of them, and this portrait of her, probably painted in April 1885, doubled as a study for the artist’s most celebrated picture of the Nuenen period: The Potato Eaters (today in the Van Gogh Museum), portraying a humble repast in a peasant household.


  • Artist Name: Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
  • Title: Head of a Peasant Woman in a White Bonnet
  • Date: 1885
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 18-1/2 x 13-3/4 in. (47.0 x 35.0 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1985.1.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

[Galerie d'Art Ed. Oldenzeel, Rotterdam, ca. 1902/3, to].
Dr. H. J. Nieboer, The Hague; ca. 1903/04, by 1905, by inheritance to his daughter;
Mrs. S. de Voogd-Nieboer, Rijswijk (sale, New York, Parke-Bernet, 14 March 1956, lot 89, ill., as Head of a Peasant Woman).
[Hammer Galleries, New York].
(sale, London, Sotheby’s, 6 December 1961, lot 61, ill., as Tête d’une paysanne, to);
[R. M. Light, Boston, 1963].
Mr. and Mrs. David Bakalar, Boston (sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 14 November 1984, lot 2, ill., Tête de paysanne au bonnet blanc);
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Vincent van Gogh: Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1962-03-22 to 1962-04-29

Vincent van Gogh

  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1905-07 to 1905-08

Vincent van Gogh: Painter, Printmaker, Collector

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1990-04-19 to 1992-01-12

Gaze: Portraiture After Ingres

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2009-10-30 to 2010-04-05

Reinstallation of South Wing

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-10-07 to 1995-08-13
  • The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh,
  • de la Faille, J. B., The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings, no. F85a pp. 72, 615
  • Lecaldano, P., L'opera pittorica completa di van Gogh, no. 149 p. 103
  • Hulsker, Jan, The Complete van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, no. 694 p. 153
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 164
  • Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1, 2006,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1713 p. 438
  • Bice Curiger, Mark Godfrey, Julia Marchand, Laura Owens & Vincent van Gogh, 2021, fig. 4 p. 116 (ill.)

Additional Artwork by Artist

Autograph Letter from Auvers-Sur-Oise to the Ginoux Family in Arles Vincent van Gogh c. June 11, 1890
Back Garden of Sien's Mother's House, the Hague Vincent van Gogh 1882
Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier) Vincent van Gogh August 1888

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