Back Garden of Sien's Mother's House, the Hague
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
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.


  • Artist Name: Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
  • Title: Back Garden of Sien's Mother's House, the Hague
  • Date: 1882
  • Medium: Sepia ink, gouache, and graphite on paper, laid on Bristol board
  • Dimensions: 18-1/4 x 23-7/8 in. (46.4 x 60.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1980.05.D
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

[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

Lecture Series: Van Gogh in L.A.(loan to the permanent collections galleries)

  • Hammer Museum, 2019-10-20 to 2019-11-03
The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh, no. 184, 220, 202, 205, 210
de la Faille, J. B., The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings, no. F942 pp. 351, 647
Hulsker, Jan, The Complete van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, no. 147 p. 41
Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 163
Dye, Sean, The Mixed-Media Sourcebook, p. 37
Faille, J. B. de la, L'Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh, catalogue raisonné, no. 942
Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1,
Letters to an Artist from Vincent van Gogh to Anton Ridder van Rappard, p. 37
Sjraar van Heugten, Van Gogh and the Seasons, p. 12 ; p. 13 (ill.)
Vanbeselaere, W., De Hollandische Periode (1880-1885) in Het Werk van Vincent van Gogh, pp. 130-131
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 1644 p. 430

Additional Artwork by Artist

Autograph Letter from Auvers-Sur-Oise to the Ginoux Family in Arles Vincent van Gogh c. June 11, 1890
Head of a Peasant Woman in a White Bonnet Vincent van Gogh 1885
Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier) Vincent van Gogh August 1888

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