VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)

Young Scheveningen Woman, Knitting: Facing Right

VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
Young Scheveningen Woman, Knitting: Facing Right
signed 'Vincent' (lower left)
watercolor and gouache on paper
20 5/8 x 14 3/8 in. (52.2 x 36.5 cm.)
Painted in The Hague, December 1881
Dr. G.A. Molenaar, The Hague (gift from the artist, 1882).
Miss G.P. Molenaar, Nunspeet, Holland.
Mrs. Henry Drake, New York.
Anon. sale, Christie's, New York, 16 November 1983, lot 122.
Anon. sale, Christie's, New York, 14 November 1996, lot 112.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
W. Vanbeselaere, De Hollandische periode (1880-1885) in het werk van Vincent van Gogh, Antwerp, 1937, pp. 57 and 115, nos 407 and 870.
V.W. van Gogh, ed., The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh, London, 1958, vol. I, pp. 279 and 402 (letter nos. 163 and 214).
J.-B. de la Faille, The Works of Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam, 1970, p. 326, no. F870 (illustrated).
J. Hulsker, The Complete van Gogh, Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, Amsterdam, 1977, p. 29, no. 84 (illustrated).
J. Hulsker, The New Complete van Gogh, Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, Amsterdam, 1996, p. 29, no. 84 (illustrated).
Paris, Nouveaux Musées, Sa vie et son oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh: Exposition internationale de 1937, June-October 1937, no. 111 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

Painted in December 1881, the present work was completed while van Gogh was studying art under the tutelage of his cousin Anton Mauve in The Hague. A distinct change was visible in Vincent's work as a result of his working with Mauve. Mauve instructed Vincent to focus on still-lifes--an old pair of clogs and other objects, and to to try his hand at watercolor. As Vincent recorded in a letter to his brother, Theo, "I can not tell you how kind and cordial Mauve and Jet [Mauve's wife] have been to me during this time. And Mauve has shown me and told me things that I may not be able to do right away but will gradually be able to put into practice" (quoted in J. Hulsker, op. cit., 1996, p. 26).

In another letter Theo (letter no. 163, December 1881), the artist wrote:

I still go to Mauve's everyday--in the daytime to paint, in the evening to draw. I have now painted five studies and two water colors and, of course, a few more sketches... The painted studies are still life, the watercolors are made after the model, a Scheveningen girl...through Mauve I have got some insight into the mysteries of the palette and of watercoloring... I confidently hope that I shall be able to make something salable in a relatively short time. Yes, I even think that these two would be salable in case of need. Especially the one which Mauve has brushed a little. But I would rather keep them myself for a time in order to remember better some things about the way in which they are done...

On 7 July 1882, van Gogh again referred to this watercolor in a letter to Theo (letter no. 214):

This afternoon I at once sent a drawing to the doctor who treated show my gratitude. It was a Scheveningen girl knitting, done at Mauve's studio, and really the best watercolor I had...

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