Vincent van Gogh


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.

Vincent van Gogh
Dutch; 1853–1890
Two Cottages at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, 1888
Reed pen and brown ink over graphite