Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890), Nuenen, December 1883-August 1884
pencil, watercolour, pen and ink, on paper, 35.5 cm x 44.6 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
When Van Gogh lived in Nuenen he became fascinated by the weavers there, who worked in their homes. They were poverty-stricken and had to work very hard to earn a living. He made sixteen large drawings of them, including this one in watercolour and ink.
The loom fills almost the entire picture. Van Gogh devoted considerable attention to representing the machine accurately. It was hard, ‘because in the small rooms one can’t get far enough away to draw the loom’, he wrote.
Vincent was confident about the qualities of his weaver drawings. He hoped to be able to sell them. That probably explains why he signed this drawing.