The Potato Eaters - by Vincent van Gogh

Before making his famous painting of The Potato Eaters, Van Gogh made a lithograph of the composition The Potato Eaters before starting the job on the painting. He sent this drawing to his brother and later says in a letter that he made the lithograph from memory in the space of a day. In the letter he said:

"I believe, though, that it would be a great mistake to imagine that such things as, for instance, the print The Grace (a family of woodcutters or peasants at table) were created at a stroke in their final form. No, in most cases the solidity and pith of the small is only obtained through much more serious study than is imagined by those who think lightly of the task of illustrating ... Anyway, some paintings in their huge frames look very substantial, and later one is surprised when they actually leave behind such an empty and dissatisfied feeling. On the other hand, one overlooks many an unpretentious woodcut or lithograph or etching now and then, but comes back to it and becomes more and more attached to it with time, and senses something great in it."