Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), The Hague, August 1882
oil on paper on canvas,
36.4 cm x 51.9 cm
Credits: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (State of the Netherlands, bequest of A.E. Ribbius Peletier)
Van Gogh made this view of the sea in 1882, while living in The Hague. He went from the city to the seaside to paint a 'nasty little storm'. He did a good job of capturing the dark sky and, in particular, the breaking waves: 'the effect of furrows of ploughed land', he wrote to his brother Theo.
Van Gogh dashed off this study quickly. He spread the paint for the white crests of the waves on the canvas unmixed. The strong wind made painting difficult. Grains of sand were blown into the paint all over the canvas. Although this is one of his first oil paintings, Van Gogh's unique brushwork is already easy to recognise.
Missing for years
For years, this painting was missing. In 2016 it was found, yet the work showed a severe loss. Now, the conservation treatment is completed and the painting is back on view in the museum. Watch the video of the restoration process, using 3D printing:
Visit the web app Unravel Van Gogh (opens in new browser window) and discover more about the restoration process.