Peasant Woman Cooking by a Fireplace

Artist: Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise)

Date: 1885

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 17 3/8 x 15 in. (44.1 x 38.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer Hays, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.393


This work was made in Nuenen in late spring 1885, just after Van Gogh completed The Potato Eaters (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), in the same dark hues that reminded the artist of "green soap" or "a really dusty potato, unpeeled of course." Van Gogh was "convinced that in the long run it produces better results to paint [peasants] in their coarseness than to introduce conventional sweetness… If a peasant painting smells of bacon, smoke, potato steam—fine—that’s not unhealthy—if a stable smells of manure—very well, that’s what a stable’s for."