The Potato Eaters

By Vincent van Gogh SKU:45096

Vincent van Gogh's "Potato Eaters" is a masterpiece painted in 1885. This renowned work showcases his early realist style, portraying the harsh reality of rural life. The painting measures approximately 82.5 cm in height and 114 cm in width. What makes it truly special is the raw emotion it evokes, depicting the toil and poverty of the peasants with meticulous detail and dark tones. Van Gogh's use of light and shadow conveys a sense of intimacy, inviting viewers to empathize with the subjects. "Potato Eaters" remains a poignant testament to van Gogh's empathy and dedication to portraying the human condition.

36 cm

Please note: by default the aspect ratio of the original artwork is used.

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Total € 275

“The Potato Eaters” is a renowned painting by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. Painted in April 1885 in Nuenen, a small village in the Netherlands, it’s considered one of Van Gogh’s most significant and powerful works, and it reflects the early style of the artist, before he adopted the bright, post-impressionistic colors he’s perhaps most known for.

The painting depicts a peasant family sitting around a table, eating their meal of potatoes. The scene is dimly lit by a hanging oil lamp, and the atmosphere is of raw, rural life. The figures are rugged and gnarled, like the earth they cultivate, with coarse features and hands worn by toil. Van Gogh wanted to portray the peasants as they were, stating in a letter to his brother Theo, “I really have wanted to make it so that people get the idea that these folk, who are eating their potatoes by the light of their little lamp, have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish…”

Van Gogh’s style in this painting is noticeably different from his later works. It belongs to his early Dutch period, which was heavily influenced by the dark, somber tones of the Dutch Realist painters and also by artists like Jean-François Millet who idealized rural labor. “The Potato Eaters” lacks the vibrant colors and bold brush strokes that are characteristic of Van Gogh’s later style, using instead a darker palette of earthy browns and grays to create a more realistic, somber mood.

“The Potato Eaters” is considered a masterpiece for several reasons:

1. **Narrative**: Van Gogh presents a deep narrative about the hardships and the simple dignity of rural life. The painting tells a story of hard work, communal living, and the stark reality of peasant life in the 19th century.

2. **Stylistic Evolution**: The painting marks a significant stage in Van Gogh’s evolution as an artist. It represents his deep connection and empathy for the working class and underprivileged, a theme that continued throughout his career.

3. **Technical Accomplishment**: Despite the criticism it received at the time for its coarse portrayal of the peasants, Van Gogh’s technique in this painting is impressive. The complex arrangement of light and shadow, the texture of the skin and clothing, and the overall composition show a skilled hand at work.

In summary, “The Potato Eaters” is not just a milestone in Van Gogh’s artistic journey, but also a powerful portrayal of rural life that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Original size:
114 x 83 cm (width x height)
Art style:
Minimal order width:
50 cm
Maximum order width:
183 cm

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