This Peasant Woman Lifting Potatoes drawing was created in year of 1885 while Van Gogh was staying in Nuenen. It is a drawing using black chalk on wove paper Black chalk on wove paper
Drawing from life Van Gogh's drawings of peasants create the impression that he observed and drew them while they were carrying out their tasks in the fields. This is deceptive, because Van Gogh could not have depicted them at work: they would have been moving too quickly and w ould have had better things to do during their working day than pose for him for any length of time. In actual fact, the figures were not studied in the countryside but in Van Gogh's studio. From the start of his career as an artist he had collected typical belongings and items of clothing, such as the sou'wester that he was to use in The Hague to create figures of fishermen. In his Nuenen studio it was no different, as can be gathered from the description by his friend Anton Kerssemakers, who noted 'a spool, a spinning-wheel, a bed warmer, all sorts of rural implements, old caps and hats, filthy women's bonnets, clogs etc. etc' Thanks to this 'pile of stuff (as Kerssemaker described it), Van Gogh was able to get his models to take on a great many roles when they posed for him.