The Potato Eaters – Van Gogh | [HR] Paintings & Interesting Facts


The Potato Eaters is an oil painting by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh painted in April 1885 in Nuenen, Netherlands. It is in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. A preliminary oil sketch of the painting is at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, and he also made lithographs of the image, which are held in collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The painting is considered to be one of Van Gogh’s masterpieces. Source [WikiPedia]


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Interesting Facts

  •  The subject, a peasant family eating their daily meal, was popular at the time. He had little experience of full-length portraits, so decided to paint the figures sitting down.
  • Vincent spent months practicing painting heads, and The Potato Eaterswas preceded by dozens of preparatory studies.
  • Van Gogh was pleased with the final work, but it drew severe criticism from his brother Theo and artist friend Anthon van Rappard.
  • The peasants’ gnarled hands and fingers evince severe arthritic pain, while the folds and wrinkles in their tattered clothing seem to restrain some unwieldy, internal force.
  • Although Vincent was pleased with Potato Eaters, writing to Theo that…in contrast to a great many other paintings, it has rusticity and a certain life in it. And then, although it’s done differently, in a different century from the old Dutchmen, Ostade, for instance, it’s nevertheless out of the heart of peasant life and – original.

Other three studies of “The Potato Eaters”

Second Study for The Potato Eaters, 1885, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
Study for The Potato Eaters
Study for The Potato Eaters, 1885, Private collection (F77r)

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The Potato Eaters – Van Gogh | [HR] Paintings & Interesting Facts

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