Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier)
August 1888
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
On View

Sunburnt and weather-beaten, the Provençal peasant Patience Escalier gazes out of Van Gogh’s picture with blazing intensity. Dazzling yellow, vivid blue, green, and red make this portrait, painted in August 1888, perhaps the artist’s most daring coloristic experiment to date. “[I]nstead of trying to reproduce exactly what I have before my eyes,” he wrote to his brother, Theo, “I use color more arbitrarily, in order to express myself with force.” He called the picture “a sort of ‘man with a hoe,’” referring to a celebrated work by the previous generation’s great painter of peasants, Jean-François Millet: Man with a Hoe, today in the J. Paul Getty Museum.


  • Artist Name: Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
  • Title: Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier)
  • Date: August 1888
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 25-1/4 x 21-1/2 in. (64.1 x 54.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1975.06.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, Amsterdam, sold Dec. 1899 to;
Henricus Petrus Bremmer (1871-1956), The Hague, still in 1935, to;
Mr. and Mrs. Edouard L. Jonas, Paris and New York;
Mrs. H. Harris Jonas (Mrs. Edouard Jonas, 1884–1974), New York, to;
[Wildenstein and Co., New York, sold 1975 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

[on loan]

  • The Hague, Gemeentemuseum, 1924 to 1935
  • Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1,2006,
  • Havelaar, Moderne Kunstwerken, p. 16
  • Stephan Wolohojian et al., Nineteenth-Century Masterpieces from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University,2003, fig. 96 p. 145
  • Lecaldano, Paolo, L'opera pittorica completa di van Gogh e i suoi nessi grafici,no. 543 pp. 210-211
  • van der Wolk, J., De Schetsboeken van Vincent van Gogh, pp. 276-277
  • Naifeh, Stephen and Gregory Smith, Van Gogh: The Life,2011,
  • Art News, p. 6
  • Eisenman, Stephen F.; with contributions by Crow, Thomas et al., Nineteenth Century Art: A Critical History,fig. 0.5 pp. 17, 334
  • Vincent van Gogh: Painter, Printmaker, Collector,fig. 55a pp. 142, 146
  • Dorn, R., Studien zur Kunstgeschichte,no. F433 pp. 352-356
  • Sjraar van Heugten, Van Gogh in Provence: Modernizing Tradition,2016, fig. 61 pp. 99 - 100
  • Scherjon, W. and J. de Gruyter, Vincent van Gogh's Great Period: Arles, St. Rémy and Auvers-sur-Oise,no. 62 (illustrated incorrectly printed under caption no. 61) pp. 90-91, 94
  • Sund, Judy, Van Gogh,fig. 135 pp. 210-211
  • Arnold, Matthias, Vincent van Gogh: Werk und Wirkung,fig. 66 pp. 144-145, 864
  • Sund, J., True to Temperament: Van Gogh and French Naturalist Literature,pl. 4 pp. 5-6, 11, 181-185
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 1130 p. 375
  • Faille, J. B. de la, Vincent van Gogh,no. 478 p. 342
  • Van Gogh Museum, Vincent's Choice - The Musée imaginaire of Van Gogh,fig. 83 pp. 88, 98, 274
  • Hulsker, Jan, Van Gogh en zijn weg,no. 1548 p. 355
  • Van Gogh Face to Face: The Portraits,fig. 193 pp. 8, 130, 152, 212, 218, 230
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 167
  • Emily Beeny, Stéphane Guégan, Pas de deux: An Exchange of Masterpieces,2015, pp. 2, 20, 55
  • The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh,nos. 519, 520, 522, 528, 529, 534
  • Museums Los Angeles, p. 38
  • Rudine, W., Follies, p. 2
  • Shackelford, G., Vincent van Gogh: The Painter and the Portrait,fig. 37 pp. 43, 45, 47
  • Steadman, David W., The Connoisseur,pl. B p. 223
  • Faille, J. B. de la, The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings,F.443 pp. 204, 628
  • Feilchenfeldt, Walter, Vincent van Gogh & Paul Cassirer, Berlin: The Reception of van Gogh in Germany from 1901-1914,no. F 443 p. 95
  • Hulsker, Jan, The Complete van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches,no. 1548 p. 355
  • Jirat-Wasiutynski, Vojtech, Antimodernism and Artistic Experience: Policing the Boundaries of Modernity,fig. 11.2 177-191
  • Faille, J. B. de la, L'Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh, catalogue raisonné,vol. I, no. 443; vol. II, pl. CXVIII, no. 443
  • Marlowe, J., San Francisco, pp. 120-121
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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
Head of a Peasant Woman in a White Bonnet Vincent van Gogh 1885

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