Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Nuenen, September 1885
oil on canvas,
65.0 cm x 78.5 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
In the autumn of 1885, Van Gogh painted many still lifes, including this one showing baskets of potatoes. He explained to his brother Theo why he was doing it. He was trying to find a good way to express their physical reality: ‘Such that they become lumps that have weight and are solid, which you’d feel if they were thrown at you, for instance.’
He enjoyed making still lifes. But he felt obliged to justify the activity to Theo, who was supporting him financially: ‘I know that they’re difficult to sell — but it’s devilish useful’.