Head of a Peasant Woman in a White Bonnet

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
Oil on canvas 
18-1/2 x 13-3/4 in. (47.0 x 35.0 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
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.


[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.

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