A Man and a Woman Seen from the Back (1886) by Vincent van Gogh

A Man and a Woman Seen from the Back - Vincent van Gogh - 1886

Artwork Information

TitleA Man and a Woman Seen from the Back
ArtistVincent van Gogh
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationVan Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Location CreatedParis, France

About A Man and a Woman Seen from the Back

The artwork “A Man and a Woman Seen from the Back” is a creation by the renowned artist Vincent van Gogh, executed in 1886. As a product of Van Gogh’s unique approach to art, this piece is characterized by the medium it employs: chalk on paper. The work stands as an embodiment of the Post-Impressionism art movement, specifically belonging to the genre of sketch and study. This piece currently resides in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, though it was originally created in Paris, France.

The artwork portrays two figures, a man and a woman, observed from a rearward perspective. Emphasized by the expressive use of chalk, the figures are sketched with vigorous strokes that add a sense of texture and movement to the composition. There is an intimate closeness suggested by their posture—the man wears what appears to be a hat and seems to be standing closely behind the woman, possibly in mid-motion or in an informal embrace. The woman’s attire and the man’s hat suggest period-specific clothing, indicating a sense of time and place.

The use of shading and bold, directional lines captures a moment that is both fleeting and everyday, a theme often reflected in Van Gogh’s studies of people and their immediate environments. The spontaneity of the strokes, together with the rawness of the medium of chalk on paper, imbues the sketch with an immediacy that continues to resonate with audiences, reflecting Van Gogh’s ability to capture the essence of human experience through his art.

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