Mill De Roosdonck

In the summer of 1885, Vincent focuses on depicting farm workers at work. Farmers and peasants during the harvest are especially popular. In the many representations he draws, a windmill is regularly in the background. On his walks, Vincent frequently passed the windmill "De Roosdonck. This windmill stands on the northern side of Nuenen at the junction with Nederwetten and Gerwen, near the home of the De Groot-van Rooij family.

The mill is brand new: on October 17, 1883, shortly before Vincent's arrival in Nuenen, the windmill under construction on this site collapses. It is decided not to build another tower mill, but to place the mill on a mountain. In the summer of 1884 the construction of this stone bell mill is completed. Reusing material from a smaller mill, De Roosdonck is characterized by a slender hull with a small cap. In contrast, the flight of the sails has a whopping width of over 26 meters.

Vincent drew and painted the corn mill; it is visible in the background of the weavers' interior of Piet Dekkers, who lived opposite. In the drawings, identification cannot be determined with certainty because Vincent also recorded another mill and because he did not always draw from reality, but also drew from memory in the studio. Sometimes he adds an attractive landscape element to a representation. The proportions of the mill suggest De Roosdonck in a number of drawings, including Wheat Field with Mower and Sheaves Binding Peasant Woman and Wheat Field with Wheat Sheaves and a Mill. De Roosdonck is a later name, referring to the area in which the mill stands: the Roosdonken.

In letters to Theo, Vincent always refers to 'den molen', the only mill in Nuenen. In August 1885 he wrote to Theo: "Since your departure I have made another painting, as large as the tuber-pickers in the snow, of the corn harvest: a reaper, a woman tying up, sheaves and the mill, as you saw the drawings - an effect of the evening after sunset.

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