When Van Gogh was staying in Nuenen, Netherland, he observed the rural life and tried to depict people and life around him. Woodcutter is
one of this series. Van Gogh put his figure in the specific working environment and portrayed their daily life.
Before this Van Gogh was always dissatisfied with his figures. He thought they are too "flat". He tried to find a solution to this by looking for a model to follow. In this case he chose Eugene Delacroix, from the book about him Van Gogh learned that he should not think in terms of lines and colors but he should identify the essential mass of a figure.