Artworks
Postman Joseph Roulin
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ldare's picture

Sr. Editor

Joseph Roulin and his family were van Gogh’s favorite subjects and some of the few human subjects who agreed to sit for him.

Roulin worked as a postman in Arles where van Gogh seemed the happiest working out of his apartment in the Yellow House.

Van Gogh compared Roulin to Socrates in personality describing him as “a good soul and so wise and so full of feeling and so trustful” and like Fyodor Dostoyevsky in appearance.

His righteous beard gives off an aura of confidence and trust. In Roulin’s other portraits his beard seems immaculately curled with finger waves. It’s a really good look.

Roulin helped van Gogh through his breakup with Gauguin and was at van Gogh’s side during his hospital stay.

While Vincent generally sent his paintings to his brother Theo, he kept this one of Roulin. It was left in the possession of his landlords Joseph and Marie Ginoux when he died along with several other portraits of the Roulin family.