Still Life with Cabbage and Clogs, 1881 by Vincent Van Gogh

Anthonij Rudolf Mauve (18 September 1838 - 5 February 1888) was a Dutch realist painter who was a leading member of the Hague School. A master colorist, he was a very significant early influence on his cousin-in-law Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh spent three weeks at Mauve's studio at the end of 1881 and during that time he made his first experiments in painting under Mauve's tutelage, first in oils and then early the next year in watercolour (previously he had concentrated on drawing). Mauve continued to encourage him and lent him money to rent and furnish a studio, but later grew cold towards him and did not return a number of letters.

In Mauve's studio, Vincent was permitted to paint this work in oils right away. For a student artist, this was a fairly rare opportunity. Still Life with Cabbage and Clogs was primarily an exercise in colour, surfaces and brushwork. It must have been a great challenge for Van Gogh to convey the different textures of the tabletop, the potatoes and the fabric. It was Van Gogh's first attempt and shows no sign as yet of the characteristic Van Gogh style.