Van Gogh visited the Mediterranean fishing village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the early summer of 1888, where, as he wrote to his brother, he hoped to “get my drawings more spontaneous, more exaggerated.” This sheet is one of nine he made during his week in the village, and one of four he kept in his studio in Arles upon his return. The spontaneity he hoped to achieve is expressed in a vigorous, freely drawn graphite sketch that he then articulated with a broad-nibbed reed pen in a series of marks that range from coarse to delicate.
In early summer 1888 van Gogh visited the Mediterranean fishing village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, where, as he wrote to his brother, he hoped to " . . . get [his] drawings more spontaneous, more exaggerated." The spontaneity he hoped to achieve is expressed in a vigorous, freely drawn graphite sketch that the artist then articulated with alternating thick and fine strokes of a broad-nibbed reed pen. The drawing’s brisk, energetic execution indicates that it might have been made on site.
Thaw Catalogue Raisonné, 2017, no. 165, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Victor Thaw. Part II. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1985, no. 53. (also in Thaw III, no. 92)
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 92.
De la Faille, J.-B.: The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings. New York, 1970, cat. no. 1440.
Hulsker, J.: The Complete von Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. Oxford and New York, 1980, cat. no. 1451.
Van Gogh in Arles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984, pp. 83-92.
Van Gogh Drawings. Amsterdam and New York: Van Gogh Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005, cat. no. 48.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. New York: Morgan Library, 2006, cat. no. 93, p. 194-195.
Watermark: "PL BAS."