A Peasant Family at the Table, 1882
Jozef Israëls (1824-1911)
Jozef Israëls was one of the older and most popular painters of the Hague School. Unlike his colleagues he did not paint landscapes but produced mainly figure pieces that featured fishermen or peasants, such as this family at table. He used a realistic style to depict their sober interior and simple living conditions.
Van Gogh had seen this painting which he described to his brother Theo in March 1882. The work was undoubtedly a source of inspiration for his own famous peasant meal, The Potato Eaters. Van Gogh greatly admired Israëls; he often mentioned him in the same breath as his favourite painter Jean-François Millet.