|Courtesy of www.VincentVanGogh.org|
In this painting, Worn Out, Van Gogh first drew a subject characteristic of his early work: a sorrowful figure next to an extinguished fire, cradling his care worn head in his hands. He gave the drawing the forthright English title 'Worn out', making an association with the mainly English tradition of imagery in which scenes from daily life were given a meaningful, sometimes dramatic title.
This first version was ambitious in theme and carefully detailed, and Van Gogh intimated in his letters that he was very attached to it. The drawing represented the change of course he wanted his artistic career to take. In comparison to the detachment of the man throwing wood onto his fire, the message here seems somewhat exaggerated, while the proportions of the sorrowful figure, whose upper legs are much too long, are awkward.