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The main characters of this picture is one of the families, of which there were thousands. They were no different from the rest, but at the same moment, there was something bewitching in them.
This is probably why Vincent Van Gogh chose this family for his painting. It fits in rather colorful with this rather poorly and cheaply put together shack, which they share at all. As the saying goes, "in cramped conditions, but not in insult." Perhaps, thanks to this, they still manage to stick together, no matter what.
The hut itself is not particularly chic, there are gray and bare walls, bars can be seen on the windows, it is not particularly clear what they are, because people who have only potatoes and coffee on the table most likely do not have valuable things that should be guarded .
All this suggests that even this modest housing does not belong to them, but is rented out. The faces of this family were frozen in despair, fatigue and lack of knowledge, from daily hard work in the field, for which they receive mere pennies. But they are glad even of this, because they can afford dinner, even if it is so meager, but doubly tastier when it is earned by honest, albeit hard work.
The whole room is barely illuminated by the dim light of the lamp, it is a bit like some definite light of last hope, which has long gone out in their eyes. This whole situation evokes deep feelings of empathy among the viewer, Steam that rises from hot potatoes is not the only thing that warms them, their hearts are warmed by the spirit of unity, which once again brought them together, to share this dinner after a hard day.
The whole picture, as if literally painted in the color of potatoes from the fields and the earth, which they repeatedly hard to process to live the next day. The whole situation is rather sad, but very truthful and vital, which the artist conveyed as realistically as possible.
Levitan Autumn Day Sokolniki