The Potato Eaters is a famous work by the brilliant Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. In the picture we see an ordinary peasant family at dinner. Potatoes and coffee are all they can afford. The heroes are not in the mood for warm communication, they are busy only with a modest meal. The atmosphere of despondency is emphasized by the dark shades chosen by the author for the creation of the work.
Author: Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890).
Year of writing: 1885.
Size: 82 x 114 cm.
Genre: Historical, everyday.
Technique: Oil painting.
Location: Vincent Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Painting The Potato Eaters by Vincent Van Gogh – a reflection of an ordinary evening of a peasant family
Vincent Van Gogh is a 19th century Dutch painter, a representative of Post-Impressionism. His fate is very difficult. There were many turning points in the artist’s life: he learned to draw, was engaged in entrepreneurial activity, was going to become a priest. But many of his undertakings were destroyed because of unhappy love. Sensitive Van Gogh took such moments very hard, he began to do business carelessly, he was fired from his job.
In one of these periods, the painter returned to his parents’ house in the small town of Nuenen. Winter has come, which made the mood of the master even more dull. The father and mother reproached their son for the lack of work and a stable income. Van Gogh felt very lonely. The landscapes of Nuenen did not add joy either: dark trees, dry grass and mud around. Not in the best mood, the artist decided to create a series of paintings describing the peasant life. One of the works is “The Potato Eaters”.
Unsurprisingly, the piece is so dark. The master wanted to show the life of poor people without embellishment. The house has only the most necessary furniture, the room is illuminated by the dim light of the lamp. People joylessly devour the simplest food. Van Gogh believed that paintings should show the truth of life, even if it looks rough or harsh. “The Potato Eaters” is the personification of the author’s position: the work describes the poverty of the peasants as it is, without the slightest far-fetched sweetness.