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  • Cristina Prudente

The potato eaters and Van Gogh vision

The potato eaters is the poetic meditation of Van Gogh. Van Gogh visualises the scene of the peasants eating potatoes to present us with his inner world. His anguish, his torments, is restless soul, are cured by the contemplation of the peasants. He is only able to explain himself to us through his paintings.

To quote David Lynch “...—I think his painting brought him whatever happiness he had

Painted in Nuenen, Netherlands by Van Gogh in 1885. It is now located at Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Van Gogh, The potato eaters, Oil Painting,1885

As he writes in his letters to his brother Theo "it has taken a whole winter of painting studies of heads and hands."

The poetic meditation of Van Gogh excavates in his extraordinary spirit, sensing new dimensions that project him into the future and connect him with the painting of Paula Rego, the photography of Diane Arbus and the film "The Elephant Man" by David Lynch.

When van Gogh realised the painting he was not aware of the power of the painting to navigate into the future.

But he breaks with the traditional rules of paintings, and creates a style that is new, innovative and original. The figures depicted in his painting are distorted. And that concept of distorsion reaches today the peasants painted in the Dance by Paula Rego, as well as the characters that are a ground base concept for the photography of Diane Arbus and the the Elephant Man, who is the main character in the film by David Lynch.

His brother Theo and his friend Rappard could not appreciate the painting as they could not foresee that the choice to rebel to the tradition of art rules would have made him the father of Modern Art. It is a unique painting by van Gogh. After this, there are not other paintings in this style by the same Van Gogh. He probably abandons the idea because of the criticism moved to it at his time.

This is the power of imagination of poetry that made him the father of Modern Art.

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