regional costume of the legendary dark-haired beauties of Arles, she posed for both Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Van Gogh was thrilled to "have an Arlesienne at last" and quickly "slashed on in an hour" his first, more summarily executed version of this portrait (Musee d'Orsay, Paris), using the thick jute canvas that Gauguin had brought with him to Arles. Later Van Gogh enhanced that image by adorning the tabletop
with two accessories befitting an Arlesienne: a paraso and gloves. Those finishing touches were probably added in December 1888 or January 1889, when he revisited the composition to use it as the prototype for Museum"s painting. Relying on more saturated and richly applied colors to add substance to the of his sitter, and showing her seated at a table with books, Van Gogh made this more compelling portrait of his friend--which he gave to her.