There is no doubt that Van Gogh’s famous painting “The Potato Eaters” is a masterpiece. However, the title of the new show at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is “The Potato Eaters. Mistake or Masterpiece?” and it has caused quite an uproar among critics.
The where was the potato eaters painted is a question that has been asked for a long time. It is not clear where Van Gogh painted his famous painting, but it is believed that he did so in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France.
When you think of Van Gogh, you probably think of a painter who struggled with mental illness. If Kirk Douglas’ insane portrayal of him in the 1956 movie “Lust for Life” didn’t convince you, last year’s exhibition “On the Verge of Insanity” at the Van Gogh Museum did.
However, a new exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum will cause you to reconsider the picture that the film and museum have imprinted on your mind. “The Potato Eaters, Mistake or Masterpiece?” is the title of the exhibition, which includes letters and never-before-seen preliminary drawings that demonstrate Van Gogh was a meticulous planner who understood precisely what he was doing.
He didn’t think twice about documenting his ideas in both words and images.
Van Gogh’s friend and fellow painter Anthon van Rappard slammed the picture in a letter, stating, “You can do better than this.” He disagreed, writing to his sister that “The Potato Eaters” was one of his favorite projects.
The best-laid schemes
The artist’s desire to create another rendition of the same topic proves that he considers the work a success. Many artists recreate their favorite masterpieces in different ways. For example, Monet painted his Haystacks paintings hundreds of times.
Surprisingly, the museum’s slogan for the exhibition, “Mistake or Masterpiece?” casts doubt on Van Gogh’s meticulous preparation.
This, despite the fact that his writings made it quite apparent that he understood exactly what he was doing.
“What I’m attempting to achieve is not a hand but the motion, not a mathematically perfect head but the entire expression,” the artist wrote to his brother in response to his friend Anton van Rappard’s critique of his figures’ proportions.
“I really appreciate that Van Gogh stands behind his own work,” the show curator, Bregje Gerritse, told The Guardian. So, what’s the deal with the title of the show?
Proof in writing
This isn’t the first time the museum has portrayed the artist as someone he isn’t. I’m thinking of the show’s title from last year, “On the Verge of Insanity,” in which he was cast as a lunatic. It’s as though the exhibit hall believes that if the artist is seen to be a careful thinker, the audience would lose interest.
What other explanation could there be for the museum’s dismissal of evidence released in 2011 that suggested Van Gogh did not commit suicide?
Instead, he was assassinated. Steven Naileh and Greg White Smith, his biographers, provided proof that he was shot by mocking teenagers.
Instead of acknowledging this discovery, the museum continues to portray the artist as mentally ill. The appearance of Van Gogh’s gloomy-looking self-portraits “is frequently seen in people suffering from melancholy and insanity,” a museum spokesperson told The Guardian.
But here’s the thing: there’s a catch. The artist’s preliminary sketches for “The Potato Eaters” are now on display at this museum, which inadvertently shows that he was not suicidal. He wrote to Theo in the month before he died, enthusing about creating a new version of a beloved painting. These are not the words of someone who is ready to commit suicide.
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The Van Gogh Museum’s new show title The Potato Eaters. Mistake or Masterpiece? is a mistake. It has been revealed that the painting was originally called The Hands of the Peasants. Reference: the hands of the peasants van gogh.
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