Discussing this fascinating new discovery in the recently published first volume of Van Gogh's drawings (op. cit.), Sjraar van Heugten, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Van Gogh Museum comments "There is another drawing that can now be added to the small group of works on paper with the 'JV' watermark. De la Faille had rejected its attribution to Van Gogh and listed it in his Les Faux Van Gogh. That opinion must now be revised. The drawing...shows a landscape typical of the provinces of North or South Holland...with a farmhouse and a windmill, and a woman and child walking down a country lane. It is very close in style to the Aardappelveld in de duinen (F1037/H390), and is executed in similar media to that sheet and Hakkende man (F1307/H853). All three are brush drawings in black or brown-black and white, and as such form a distinct group within Van Gogh's Hague work. The landscape would also have been drawn in April-May 1883, when Van Gogh acquired a batch of tinted, laid paper with the watermark 'JV'" (op. cit.). Aardappelveld in de duinen is in the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, and Hakkende man is in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.
A study of contemporary maps of The Hague and comparable drawings of the area prove that Landschap met Vrouw en Kind was executed close to Van Gogh's house and studio near the Schenkweg, not far from the Rijnspoor Station (see illustration). During his stay in The Hague from the end of December 1881 to 11 September 1883, this area was one of the artist's favourite places to work.
In subject and atmosphere Landschap met Vrouw en Kind seems closely related to a letter Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo, around 4 September 1883 "You write about your work that Sunday in Ville d'Avray; at the same moment on the same day, I too was walking alone, and I too want to tell you something about that walk, when our thoughts probably met again...I went out far into the country to have a talk with nature...high over the meadows, boundless as a desert, one mass of clouds after the other came sailing on, and the wind first struck at the row of country houses with their clump of trees on the other side of the canal, bordered by the black cinder path. Those trees were superb; there was drama in each figure I was going to say, but I mean in each tree" (letter 384 ).
We are extremely grateful to Dr Liesbeth Heenk for her research and major contribution to this catalogue entry.