July 25, 2019

The Potato Eaters,
Van Gogh, 1885

I stumbled upon Van Gogh’s, The Potato Eaters today. Every time I see it, I sort of do a double-take. It’s hard to imagine that this is done by the same artist who did Sunflowers and Starry Night. It’s just a completely different look from his signature style, which is what makes it so interesting.

He did this in 1885, before his stay at Saint Remy in Arles, where he created his more well-known works. He was practicing his figure drawing to prove that he was a great artist. But he wanted to show these figures in an ordinary light. He wanted to portray the harsher side of life. Rather than idealize people, he showed them doing common things, with a quiet dignity.

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