Portrait of Armand Roulin is an 1889 Post-Impressionist painting by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. It is in the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany.
Analysis of Portrait of Armand Roulin
Vincent Van Gogh painted portraits of the Roulin family in Arles between 1888 and 1889, and this Portrait of Armand Roulin specifically in 1888. This portrait of the eldest son of the family is one of a pair completed in the same year. The young man of 17 appears, despite the jauntiness of the yellow of his coat, somber. Just as his face droops in a deep melancholy so does his fedora.
Van Gogh wrote of his desire for the portrayal of the infinite in his portraits and Armand’s eyes here are fixed deeply – both in an unshakeable sadness and fixed upon the viewer into whom he almost sees.
Armand Roulin was a real-life historical figure who lived from 1871 to 1945. He was a Frenchman who gained recognition due to his association with the renowned Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. Armand Roulin was the son of Joseph Roulin, a postman in the town of Arles in southern France, where van Gogh resided for a significant period.
Armand Roulin became acquainted with van Gogh during the artist’s stay in Arles, which lasted from 1888 to 1889. Van Gogh developed a close friendship with the Roulin family and found them to be the subjects of his paintings. Armand’s father, Joseph, became a particularly frequent subject of van Gogh’s portraits.
Vincent van Gogh painted several portraits of Armand Roulin, capturing the young man’s distinctive appearance and vibrant personality. These paintings include notable works such as this one and The Postman Joseph Roulin and his Son Armand.
Armand Roulin’s involvement in van Gogh’s life became more significant following the artist’s tragic death in 1890. Armand, along with his father and other family members, played a crucial role in supporting and promoting van Gogh’s artistic legacy. They actively sought out and collected van Gogh’s artworks, preserving them and ensuring their recognition and preservation.