Our Art / Vincent van Gogh / The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin)

The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin) by Vincent van Gogh
The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin) by Vincent van Gogh

The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin), 1889

Vincent van Gogh

This is a portrait of Joseph-Étienne Roulin, a postman who became Van Gogh’s close friend and model for several paintings. Roulin is shown here from the chest up, his body centered, with a steady gaze from his steely blue eyes . His mustache, green-tinged, hangs in shaggy clumps over his lips, while his salt-and-pepper beard is rendered as a brilliant ocean of color, using thick paint strokes in green, blue, purple, and red. The background is invented, a stylized decorative floral pattern. Yet despite these artistic flights of fancy, the postman’s face is gentle, kind and deeply human.

From the Playlist
Credit
The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
Get the Depict Frame
Display this piece - and hundreds more - at home with the Depict Frame, the world’s first museum-quality digital art canvas.