After creating the picture “Consumers of potatoes” Van Gogh wanted even more intensively to develop the theme of peasant life. At times he was struck by the sight of a peasant dwelling. The house, which was sealed in this picture, consisted of two parts with separate entrances and a common stove. In it lived workers who belonged to the poorest strata of society. The dwelling had long since fallen into disrepair, but continued to stand. Van Gogh compared two parts of the house under a common roof with a pair of decrepit old people who have long become one and continue to live only because they support each other.
Van Gogh saw in this kind of lyricism, which was for him inextricably linked with the theme of the peasants. He carefully and lovingly writes out all the details of the sagging dwelling. The picture is imbued with sadness, which manifests itself in the very image of the house, and in the surrounding nature. The cloudy sky hangs over the ground so low that it seems that thunderclouds will soon crush the dilapidated roof of the dwelling. Black branches of semi-dry trees in the background bring a note of depression and anxiety.
The picture is made in a very dark color scheme and almost monochrome. All that can be seen on it is illuminated by the last rays of the setting sun, barely making their way through the clouds.