The main characters of this picture is one of the families, which were thousands. They were no different from the others, but at the same time, there was something fascinating about them.
Perhaps that is why Vincent Van Gogh chose this family for his picture. It fits quite pretty into this, rather poorly and cheaply made shack, which they divide into all. As the saying goes, “in cramped, but not mad.” Probably, thanks to this, they still manage to stick together, no matter what.
The hut itself is not particularly chic, the walls are gray and bare, there are grilles on the windows, it’s not clear what they are for, because people who have only coffee and coffee on the table probably don’t have valuable things to guard.
All this suggests that even this modest housing does not belong to them, but is leased. The faces of this family were filled with despair, fatigue, and scrutiny from the daily hard work in the field, for which they receive mere pennies. But they are happy even to this, because they can afford dinner, even if they are so meager, but it tastes doubly good when it is earned by honest, albeit by hard work.
The whole room is barely lit 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 gives the viewer deep feelings of empathy, Par, who 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 is literally as if written in the color of potatoes from the fields and the land, which they work hard over and over again to live another day. This whole situation is sadly happy, but very truthful and vital, which the artist conveyed as real as possible.