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Van Gogh lived for two years at Nuenen in Holland painting peasant subjects. In such works he uses a palette of drab earth colours far removed from the vibrant contrasting pigments of his later radical paintings. He wrote to his brother in July 1885 about a ‘woman ... seen from the front, her head almost on the ground, digging carrots’. ‘I have been watching those peasant figures for more than a year and a half’, he added, ‘just to catch their character’.
oil on canvas
42 x 32 cm