Previously unseen handwritten letters by Vincent Van Gogh, written in the main to his brother Theo, have gone on display at the Royal Academy of Arts.
From the winter of 1884 to the spring of 1885, Van Gogh devoted himself to painting and drawing studies of peasants' heads. This head is of a young girl, almost a child's head.
In the Letter to Theo he commented about the contrast of the bright red and pale green against the colour of this woman's head.
The Potato Eaters was the most significant achievement of Van Gogh's early career.
In the letter to Theo, translated for the exhibition, he said "I'm working on those peasants around a dish of potatoes. I've just come home from there - and have worked on it further by lamplight".
Van Gogh's friend Anthon van Rappard criticised this drawing saying - "what connection is there between the coffeepot, the table and the hand lying on top of the handle." These comments hurt Van Gogh deeply.
"In these last few weeks I have made four watercolours of Weavers. And a few others of a timber sale, an interior with a seamstress, and a gardener, all watercolours. Herewith a few scratches of them."
Van Gogh moved to Nuenen in December 1883. The first subject he tackled was weaving. He was fascinated by the looms "such almighty beautiful affairs".
Van Gogh wrote that "where the black is darkest in this little sketch is where the greatest strengths are in the watercolour - dark green, brown, dark grey".
In the summer of 1882 Van Gogh set himself the challenge to paint in watercolour. "I've attacked that old giant of a pollard willow, and I believe it has turned out the best of watercolours," he said.
"I have a new drawing of garden full of flowers." He adds colour notes to his sketch, such as "band of violet", "band of orange and green", to give Theo an idea of the painting.
"Under the blue sky, the orange, yellow, red patches of flowers take on an amazing brilliance, and in the limpid air there's something happier and more suggestive of love than in the north," - All images and translations copyright the Royal Academy of Arts
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