The Potato Eaters
The painting I’ve chosen is The Potato eaters, by Vincent Van Gogh. It was painted in 1885. This painting was the first of a succession of paintings that gave fame and glory to Van Gogh. It´s an oil painting on canvas and its dimensions are 114 cm × 82 cm. At the moment the painting is located in the Vincent Van Gogh´s Museum , in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The painting represents a peasant´s family sitting on a table, eating potatoes. The family is only illuminated only by one oil lamp. In the foreground, we can see the family. On the left there is one man sitting on a chair, with a hat. The rest of people are four women sitting on chairs as well. The family is having dinner. The house where they are is small and poor. The woman on the left is picking food with the man, the woman on the right is serving the drink. The woman in the center is older and she has food in her hand. Finally there´s a woman with her back turned to the viewer. Brown is the predominant color, representing poverty and sadness.
The family is a poor family and they don´t have much for dinner. The light of the lamp represents the hope of getting out of poverty. A feeling of sadness can be seen in the family´s faces. The woman who is serving drink represents the common woman of this age. The man is her son. He is younger and represents the hard work, like his father. The other two women whose faces we can see are the daughters, they are sad with their lives. The technique Van Gogh used on this painting is short brushstrokes, but he didn´t use the pointillist technique. Van Gogh painted all these peasants because in the past he had been a missionary and he understood the hard life of the peasants.
CONNECTION WITH THE STYLE
Van Gogh is considered to be the father of the modern art. The Potato Eaters is a post-impressionist painting because Van Gogh had a personal style, distinct brushstrokes and real-life issues. His paintings of peasants reflected their hard lives. When he started painting, he liked painting about peasants and workers and poor people. On this painting, realism is manifested in the domestic interior, which almost recalls a cave or lair of an animal.
WHY I LIKE THIS PAINTING
First I only saw a family having dinner, but then I understood that they didn´t have much food because they were poor. Nowadays millions of people don´t have enough food, and many people die for this reason. I understand that I am lucky for having food everyday and many things other people don´t have.