The Potato Eaters

The Potato Eaters
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Year 1885
Medium Oil on canvas
Location Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Dimensions 32.3 in × 44.9 in
82 cm × 114 cm
Vincent van Gogh Famous Paintings
The Starry Night, 1889
Sunflowers, 1888
Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888
Irises, 1889
The Potato Eaters, 1885
Yellow House, 1888
Café Terrace at Night, 1888
The Red Vineyard, 1888
Outskirts of Paris, 1887

The Potato Eaters, which was completed in 1885, was considered to be van Gogh’s first real piece of great work which led to many other pieces that followed. When the painting was done, van Gogh was still new to the art world, and had not yet mastered his own style–the use of colors and lighting that he became so well known for. In turn, the lack of character and his own style led to a unique and interesting look of The Potato Eaters.

Details of the Painting

Van Gogh created many simplistic details in The Potato Eaters, which when viewed together, created the work of art that many love. Some of the details he took in to account when creating the piece include:
– rafter boards that are in the back of the piece
– soft and gentle lines which form the window borders in the piece
– the picture frame that is seen hanging on the wall
– a larger platter of potatoes
– the woman who is pouring coffee to the seated men
– weathered and damaged edges to the table
– a large rectangular column that is found behind the table and seems to be holding the entire structure up and in place when it is viewed as a whole.

The subtle details that are created in The Potato Eaters, not only give it character and a unique look, they also lead viewers’ to have the impression that the room is a home or place of residence for the men in the image. It is a display of peasant life and the way these individuals used to live during the time period: in tight quarters, with limited food and drink, and other amenities that might have been available to them during that time period.

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