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Vestdijk, Eindhoven

Langendijk, Eindhoven

Langendijk is now called Vestdijk. The building that housed Gestel no longer exists.

Van Gogh in

Gestel & zoon

Vincent often went to the Gestel printing company in Eindhoven. Determined to make a series of lithographs of peasant life, he ordered a stone from Gestel in April of 1885:

“I’m now getting use of the stone — graining, paper and printing of 50 copies for 3 guilders. I’m thinking of making a series of subjects from peasant life, in short —the peasants at home.” Read the complete letter

The first – and the last – lithograph in the series was The Potato Eaters, which he based on the painting of the same name. According to Dirk Gestel’s recollection, Vincent drew the image directly on the stone, without making a preliminary sketch. He rubbed the crayon with his fingers. This was an irreversible error that caused spots in the printing. Vincent complained about the results in a letter to Theo:

“What you say about the lithograph, that the effect is woolly, I think so too, and it isn’t my own fault, in so far as the lithographer insisted that it wouldn’t print properly because I’d left virtually no white on the stone. On his advice I then bit out light areas. If I had just printed it as the drawing was, it would have been generally darker but wouldn’t have lacked cohesion. And there would still have been atmosphere between the planes.” Read the complete letter

Made here

The potato eaters, 1885

The potato eaters, 1885

Lithograph, 28,4 x 31,1 cm

Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

    Relevant letters from Vincent

    Continue reading

    1. Ton de Brouwer

      Van Gogh en Nuenen
      Venlo, 1984