Burning Weeds

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 on a scale he hoped would cater to illustration projects. The subject reveals his early interest in the work of the renowned French painter of peasant subjects, Jean-François Millet. In 1881, he read Alfred Sensier’s biography of Millet, which illustrates a sheet of sketches featuring a woman burning weeds. The standing figure poking the fire in the background is reminiscent of illustrations in the Sensier volume. For this work, 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.

Burning Weeds, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise), Transfer lithograph with pen and ink

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