The Potato Eaters
April, 1885, Nuenen, Netherlands.
Dark interior. Stillness. No romance.
Dinner. Potatoes. No pies.
A meager light curbs a scanty catch in the air – the old man’s white cup extended to the old lady in black; tending the tea, she doesn’t see thischance of mutual ambiance.
The denial continues with the young couple – the man’s gaze is sent away from the lady’s imploring eyes on the side.
The young diner entirely declines a sight into her plight.
Van Gogh has denied any sparkle of bonding between equals in longing.
He wanted to present the peasants’ plain existential account – the daily expenditure of muscle and mind to the last blow of strength and command.
Their potatoes are set on the table in good order, the light reverberates on their pealed orbs and evaporates with the steam, leaving a lonely unnoticed gleam - they are to replenish, not to enjoy.
Vincent’s peasant, at the table as in the field, is a sole warrior of strife, in the life’s knot’s tightest bent, with no victory at hand - nature’s hazardousdecoy, the dark side of the pastoral ploy.
Grumpy faces: smiles – snatched by the wind.
Battered hands: cuddles - burned by the sun.
Ruffled bodies: costumed joy - washed away by the rain.
Ruff attitude: fine manners – buried in the soil.
The peasant – Vincent’s liberator of the earth apple
from the underground’s dark grapple.
Ekaterina Dukusina lives in London. A graduate in Philology and Philosophy, she is interested in the history of arts, ideas, culture and universalism, going back to Sanskrit sources. Considering poetry as human’s alter ego, she is an avid explorer of the metrical word. Former educationist, she is now a volunteer at the V&A Museum; and at the British Museum for the interactive program Hands On. Her creative acumen is attested in the authorship of the British Library publication The Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander, listed by questia digital library at position 9 in one of their periodical selections 16 of the best publications on illuminated manuscripts.
The Ekphrastic Review
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