The head of this peasant woman is only one draft from a series of studies that Vincent van Gogh makes in 1884. He paints in colour for the first time. His palette exists of earth tones, dark blue and green. Day and night he studies the rough and flat faces of farmers men and women. In the dark shacks the colours are hard to to distinguish. This painting is also very dark. The cap of the farmers woman fades away in the background.

Inspiration for The potato eaters

Vincent uses bold brushstrokes which accentuates the deep lines in the woman’s face, a consequence of the hard farmers life. In 1885 Vincent conceives the plan for his first ‘composition’: The potato eaters. The studies he made in the year before serve as inspiration for this painting.