Back Garden of Sien's Mother's House, the Hague

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
Sepia ink, gouache, and graphite on paper, laid on Bristol board 
18-1/4 x 23-7/8 in. (46.4 x 60.6 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

The Back Garden of Sien’s Mother’s House, The Hague, was one of six drawings commissioned to present picturesque scenes of the city by Vincent van Gogh’s art dealer-uncle, C.M. van Gogh. Far more than just a randomly selected view, the subject held great personal meaning for the artist. Indeed, the house and garden depicted in this meticulously rendered drawing belonged to the mother of van Gogh’s mistress and frequent model, Clasina (Sien) Hoornik. The personal connection with the location, however, seems lost beneath the artist’s precisely ruled pencil and ink strokes, where the extraordinary web of planes, lines and angles are punctuated only by the curve of the foliage, the potted plants, and the dabs of white paint. The rigidity was deliberate; at the time, van Gogh was experimenting with a gridded frame to help him practice perspective.


[C. M. van Gogh, Amsterdam]
C. Mouwen, Jr., Breda.
Roell, Utrecht
[W. C. A. Huinck, Utrecht]
Henricus Petrus Bremmer (1871-1956), The Hague, 1928-1950.
[Jon N. Streep, New York; sold 1955 to]
David Daniels, New York
(sale, New York, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, 14 May 1980, lot 212)
[R.M. Light & Co., Inc., Santa Barbara; sold 4 February 1980 to]
Norton Simon; consigned 30 April 1982 to
[E. V. Thaw & Co., New York; returned after 29 March 1983 to]
Norton Simon

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