Old Man Putting Dry Twigs on the Fire - by Vincent van Gogh

When he was practicing with his drawing skills, occasionally he would hazard an attempt at a more complex view of a model. Without doubt the finest example of this is this drawing, The Old Man Throwing Dry Twigs on the Fire . The figure is rendered in a very convincing way, not just from the front, but at a slight angle from above, a tour deforce in which Van Gogh was completely successful. Not only are the proportions convincingly rendered, but the artist has also managed to give the man and the simple interior an expression of weariness and frugality.

In the letter to his brother Theo Van Gogh, Vincent Van Gogh wrote this: "I made another one yesterday, a peasant lad, in the morning, lighting the fire in the hearth where the kettle hangs, and another one, an old man laying dry twigs on the fire. I'm sorry to say that there's still something stiff and severe in my drawings, and I think that she, namely her influence will be needed to soften that."