This lecture will discuss van Gogh's Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier) in the context of these interests, which played such a crucial role in the painter's efforts to define himself as a member of the avant-garde.
When Vincent van Gogh moved from Paris to the South of France in 1888, the rural environs inspired him to revisit some of the central themes of his Dutch years, such as the changing seasons and the "labors of the fields." At the same time, his work was greatly influenced by his admiration for Japanese art and culture, coupled with his ambition to create distinctly modern pictures.
Cornelia Homburg received her M.A. in art history from the University of Chicago and her
Ph.D from the University of Amsterdam. After beginning her career at the Van Gogh Museum
in Amsterdam, she became curator first at the museum of Washington University in St. Louis,
and then at the Saint Louis Art Museum. She left her position as chief curator of the Saint
Louis Art Museum in 2003 to work as an independent art historian and live in France.
Homburg curated, among others, the exhibitions Max Beckmann and Paris, Vincent van
Gogh and the Painters of the Petit Boulevard, Vincent van Gogh: Timeless Country - Modern
City and Van Gogh: Up Close. She is currently working on several new projects, including an
exhibition on the Neo-Impressionists' reaction to the rise of Symbolism.