In 1883, Vincent lived in Nuenen, where the local weavers fascinated him. Weavers became a common motif in his works during this period. He wrote about them to his brother Theo:
“I am working on a rather large picture of a weaver, the loom seen from the front – the little figure a dark silhouette against the white wall”.
Those looms will cost me a lot of hard work yet, but in reality they are such splendid things, all that old oakwork against a greyish wall, that I certainly believe it is a god thing that they are painted once in a while. But we must try to get them so that the colour and tone will harmonize with other Dutch pictures. Soon I hope to start on two others of weavers in which the figure comes quite differently, that is to say, the weaver is not sitting behind it, but is arranging the warp threads of the cloth.
I have seen them weaving in the evening by lamplight, which gives very Rembrandtesque effects.”
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, The Netherlands