September 1, 2010 - January 2, 2011
Portrait of Gordina de Groot is significant, not only because the subject is the central figure in one of Van Gogh's most famous and celebrated works, The Potato Eaters, but also because it is one of only two paintings from the series of 40 busts that the artist chose to sign. Van Gogh's signature indicates that he considered it a fully realized and finished work, rather than simply a study. The portrait also reveals the beginning of Van Gogh's characteristically rich application of paint and heavily worked painting surface, a method that would eventually become his signature painting style. The 1885 painting of Gordina de Groot was exhibited as a long-term loan in Amsterdam at the Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh from 1917 to 1964, but it has never been exhibited in the United States before.