In 1883 Van Gogh settled in Nuenen, a village in North Brabant in the Netherlands, where his father was a minister. There he observed the lives of peasants as he established himself as a painter of working people. This is one of over 40 heads he painted that winter.
Dark, coarse and unidealised, the study was executed before the artist received any form of artistic training.
© Private Collection. Photo: National Gallery, London