The Potato Eaters – April study

The Potato Eaters – April study

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Painting Date
15th of April 1885
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“Herewith two scratches after a couple of studies that I made,1 while at the same time I’m working on those peasants around a dish of potatoes again.
I’ve just come home from there — and have worked on it further by lamplight — although this time I started it in daylight.

[sketch A]

See, this is what the composition has now become. I’ve painted it on a fairly large canvas, and as the sketch is now, I believe there’s life in it.2 1v:2
But I know for certain that C.M., for instance, would speak of — badly drawn &c.
Do you know what can definitely be said to counter that? That the beautiful effects of the light in nature require one to work very fast. Now I know very well that the great masters were able both to finish and to maintain the vitality, particularly in the period of their mature experience.
But that’s something I certainly won’t be able to do like that for the time being.
At the point where I now am, though, I see a chance of giving a felt impression of what I see.”

To Theo. Nuenen, Thursday, 9 April 1885

Painting, Oil on Canvas on panel
Nuenen, The Netherlands: April, 1885
Kröller-Müller Museum
Otterlo, The Netherlands, Europe
F: 78, JH: 734

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