October 25, 2021

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"Potato Eaters" ... a controversial masterpiece at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

“Potato Eaters” … a controversial masterpiece at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

One of the first masterpieces of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh (born 1853 – died 1890) was “Potato Eaters” without a doubt his greatest “failure”, at least in the opinion of critics at the time.
In the dark and gloomy scene, the painting depicts five people sitting in a cramped kitchen, having dinner, their faces tired, their noses swollen, their arms constricted and thin.

For the first time .. Farmers’ Life Exhibition
Even today, the Dutch painter is famous for his delightful paintings of landscapes in the south of France, lit by light.

But now, for the first time, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is dedicating an exclusive exhibition to the early depiction of this dark and admirable agricultural life.

Emily Gordenker, director of the museum, said the exhibition, which opened on Friday, October 8, features about 50 paintings, drawings, drawings and letters telling the story of the painting, which is a “story of ambition and perseverance”. “

“The painting was never sold, it was never on display during Van Gogh’s lifetime,” he says. However, today it is world famous and is considered an important task in the development of the best painter.

The truth about “potato eaters”
Vincent van Gogh painted “The Potato Eaters” in 1885. During a turbulent time he spent time with his parents in the southeastern Dutch city of Nuen, and he did many studies and paintings for it.

It is one of Van Gogh’s most “thought-provoking paintings,” said Brigadier General Jericho.

Sharp criticism
The superintendent of the museum said that the famous painter wanted to make a breakthrough with this painting, but he could not achieve this because he came under severe criticism, especially because of the dark colors and distorted portraits of people’s faces.

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Five people from a poor family are seen eating dinner by the light of an oil lamp, and in front of them is a wooden table and a pot of boiled potatoes and a woman pouring coffee.

In order to bring the painting to life, the museum now has its display, “Potato Eaters. Wrong or Masterpiece?”

Van Gogh wanted to embody the harsh reality of agricultural life, a life he himself admired. “Van Gogh wanted to show all the hard life of the peasants”, because he deliberately showed characters with hard faces and hard hands.

The colors were as dark as earth and as dark as earth, and their faces were “a dirty, unpeeled potato, of course,” he said.

However, as the artist expected, the painting did not see a boom in the art market in Paris. His brother, art dealer Theo, did not even like the work of art, and his friend and colleague, painter Anton von Robert, criticized it, describing the work as ugly and rude. Yet Van Gogh stuck with it and throughout his life considered it one of his greatest works – certainly one of his greatest works.

He once explained that the message of a work of art is more important than its technical completeness, pointing out that art does not have to be beautiful, but to be honest.

“I have to draw what I feel, I want to feel what I draw,” he said, and even thought at the end of his life to paint a new version of “potato eaters”.