Vincent van Gogh completed Woman Winding Yarn in 1885. In this painting, van Gogh masterfully marries subject, expression, and color.
After more than a year working in Nuenen, Netherlands, van Gogh formulated a plan to create a large, important painting to launch his career. Late in 1884, he began a series of studies of figures absorbed in mundane work: sewing, spinning, and digging. He chose his models from the local farm community and limited his palette to dark, earthy tones. He wrote to his brother Theo, "one must paint the peasants as being one of them.”
Van Gogh explores contrast between color and theme in Still Life with Bible. Learn about this early van Gogh painting in the next section.