Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Drenthe, September-December 1883
watercolour on paper,
41.7 cm x 54.1 cm
Credits: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The dark structure in the middle of the drawing looks like a cottage, but it is actually a stack of peat. In Drenthe, peat was stacked in the form of a house with a sloping roof. Van Gogh gave the stack of peat a central place in his composition and showed its reflection in the ditch.
He wrote to his brother Theo that at dusk the fields of Drenthe were transformed into a 'sublime' place, 'when that vast, sun-scorched earth stands out dark against the delicate lilac tints of the evening sky, and the very last fine dark blue line on the horizon separates earth from sky'.