Shalom Meneer van Gogh
Potato Eaters, Nuenen, 1885
Oil on canvas, 82 x 114 cm
Van Gogh Musem, Amsterdam



His artistic life lasted only ten years. At the age of 27 Vincent van Gogh decided to become an artist. He wrote to his brother Theo:

What my head and heart are full of must come out in drawings and paintings.

Van Gogh brothers were very close. Theo was an art dealer and he welcomed
Vincent's decision. To promote the idea, they agreed that Vincent will dedicate himself to painting, while Theo will promote his art, sell his works and support Vincent financially before sales will come.

The Potato Eaters is the artist’s first masterpiece and a major work of the Dutch period. The artist executed it while living with his family in a small village of Nuenen in the Sothern Holland.

Vincent worked hard on this painting, carefully considering each detail. He deliberately chose ugly and coarse models to depict peasants as they really were:

I wanted to convey the idea that the people eating by the light of an oil lamp were using the same hands with which they took food from the plate and dug the earth, that they earned their meal honestly.