Malevich was by no means the only famous artist to have concentrated on the lives of the poor, even though they would not have been in a position to offer large payments for any portraits. It was clearly more about artistic expression and using them as a source of inspiration. Other artists went down the route of producing portraits of the rich and famous in order to supplement their incomes and also build up a strong network of powerful connections.
Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh was his very first masterpiece and also has become perhaps the most famous depiction of the poor within European art. The artist himself was from a poor background and had a considerable struggle throughout most of his life. His dark colour scheme perfectly captured the challenging lives experienced by these local Dutch workers. In comparison, Pieter Bruegel has many centuries earlier displayed peasant life in a much more upbeat manner, covering festivals and other joyous occasions.