Gardener by an Apple Tree

Vincent van Gogh Dutch

Not on view

In July 1883, Van Gogh decided to try his hand at lithography for a second time. This is one of two prints he produced that summer along with "Burning Weeds" (2021.242). For these works, he used a fine pen on smooth transfer paper and encountered some difficulty with the fidelity of the transfer to the lithographic stone and subsequent printing. Consequently, he touched up the print extensively with pen and ink, most evident here in the dark knots of the tree. His inspiration for the subject was a scene he observed and sketched while visiting a retirement home, which he later restaged with the help of his favorite model from the period, Adrianus Jacobus Zuyderland. The artist treated the motif of the peasant laborer digging repeatedly at this time. It highlights his appreciation for the French painter Jean-François Millet, whose composition "The Diggers" (57.531.18) he copied as early as November 1880.

Gardener by an Apple Tree, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise), Transfer lithograph with pen and ink

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