The Postman

by vincent van gogh

From: $89.00
  • Print Description
      Vincent van Gogh wrote “I should like to do portraits which will appear as revelations to people in a hundred years’ time.” in a letter to his sister in 1890. The Postman is a portrait of van Gogh's close friend Joseph-Étienne Roulin, a postal employee at the train station in the southern French town of Arles. At first glance this oil on canvas portrait shows an explosion of blue and green pigments, then Roulin is portrayed in a frozen moment in time, encouraging the viewer to notice the steadfast composition of Roulin, his impressive beard and moustache and the sumptuous floral motif wallpaper behind him, topped off by Roulin's postman’s cap. The Postman is one of van Gogh’s most iconic portraits, executed with purposeful defined brushstrokes for Roulin's coat, beard and face a vast contrast to the green floral background which is delicate and serene, creating a depth of field for the viewer and encouraging Roulin's distinct presence standing proud in a myriad of texture and colour.
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The Artist


Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 - 1890) was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.

In just over a decade, Van Gogh created about 2,100 artworks, including some 860 oil paintings. They include landscapes, still life's, portraits and self-portraits and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art.

Van Gogh became famous after his death and exists in the public imagination as the quintessential misunderstood genius, the artist "where discourses on madness and creativity converge".

Van Gogh's works are among the world's most expensive paintings to have ever sold and his legacy is honoured by a museum in his name, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the world's largest collection of his paintings and drawings.

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