Head of a Woman - by Vincent van Gogh

This drawing was created in 1884 in Nuenen and show the careworn of a peasant woman. With her inward look she seems to stand symbol for the rigour of peasant life.

When living in Nuenen Van Gogh was trying to master the technique of paintings. At the same time, he was following in the footsteps of Jean-Francois Millet, whose vision of the lives of country people he greatly admired and used as a model for his own point of view. His ideas were not, however, particularly sophisticated: Van Gogh saw peasants as rough and uncouth, but these were precisely the characteristics that allowed them to be at one with nature in such an enviable way. It was "a way of life quite different from ours, from that of civilized people' and 'in many respects one so much better than the civilized world."