A new look at Van Gogh’s “The Potato Eaters”

A new look at Van Gogh’s “The Potato Eaters”

From October 8th 2021 to February 13th 2022, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam presents “The Potato Eaters: Mistake or Masterpiece?”, an exhibition that explores the meaning of the famous work painted by Van Gogh in 1885.

Vincent van Gogh — Die kartoffelesser — 1885Vincent van Gogh — Die kartoffelesser study — 1885

Images: Vincent van Gogh, “The Potato Eaters”, 1885, oil on canvas, 82 x 114 cm. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam ·· Study for “The Potato Eaters”, Oil on canvas, 33.6 x 44.5 cm. van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Today, Vincent van Gogh is universally famous for his colourful works -clear forerunners of Expressionism- created between his arrival in France in 1886 and his death in 1890. His early period, characterised by his “dark” paintings of rural life in his native Netherlands, has been much less admired by the general public, with the exception of one painting: The Potato Eaters.

In posing the question “Mistake or masterpiece?”, the Van Gogh Museum refers to the fact that the painting, despite its current fame, did not meet the expectations of the artist, who wanted it to become a symbol/homage to the simple but honest peasant life. “Although I’ll have painted the actual painting in a relatively short time, and largely from memory, it’s taken a whole winter of painting studies of heads and hands. And as for the few days in which I’ve painted it now — it’s consequently been a formidable fight, but one for which I have great enthusiasm. Although at times I feared that it wouldn’t come off. But painting is also ‘act and create’,” wrote an enthusiastic Vincent to his brother Theo in April 1885. However, the painting was met with criticism from artists and dealers, and was never exhibited, ending up in his brother’s apartment in Paris.

Many of the sketches and studies that Vincent mentioned in his letter to Theo are included in the exhibition, revealing a much more meticulous and perfectionist Van Gogh than is usually portrayed, an artist who in the last months of his life painted several pictures in a single week. In addition, the exhibition also includes a section in which visitors can “enter the canvas”, thanks to a three-dimensional recreation of the room depicted in the painting. #2021 #theartwolf #VanGoghMuseumAmsterdam #VincentVanGogh

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ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART magazine aimed to offer an original & independent point of view about the Art World ▷ Its news, events, protagonists, glories and miseries.

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