Van Gogh and the Postman

Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Joseph Roulin, April 1889, Kröller-Müller Museum, Image Source: wikimedia

“I’m now working on the portrait of a postman with his dark blue uniform with yellow. A head something like that of Socrates, almost no nose, a high forehead, bald pate, small grey eyes, high coloured full cheeks, a big beard, pepper and salt, big ears.” Vincent van Gogh

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“While Roulin isn’t exactly old enough to be like a father to me,” Van Gogh described to Theo in April 1889, “all the same he has silent solemnities and tendernesses for me like an old soldier would have for a young one. Always—but without a word—a certain something that seems to mean: we don’t know what will happen to us tomorrow, but think of me in any event. And that does one good when it comes from a man who is neither embittered nor sad, nor perfect, nor happy, nor always irreproachably just, but such a good soul and so wise and so moved and so full of belief. Listen—I have no right to complain of anything to do with Arles when I think of certain people I’ve seen there and whom I’ll never be able to forget” (Letter 754, vol. 4, p. 423).

READ FULL ESSAY: Christie’s

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Thanks for Visiting 🙂

~Sunnyside

20 Comments Add yours

    1. Thanks for visiting, Luisa. 🙂❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  1. And yet we don’t know what Socrates really looked like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder which painting or mental imagery of Socrates might have brought the likeness to mind…

      Like

  2. shoreacres says:

    The subject’s quite different, but the colors are reminiscent of his yellow and blue sunflower paintings. In fact, it’s interesting that the postman’s surrounded by flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very interesting choice – I would love to learn more about this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Linda. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jade says:

    I love this! And Van Gogh’s art and writings. Always so brilliant and deeply felt.
    This is something I’d do…my eyes just filled with gratitude and admiration. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “…silent solemnities and tendernesses for me like an old soldier would have for a young one…” is such a poignant way to describe the relationship. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jade. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to read all the letters….someday. 🙂

      Like

  4. LOVE Van Gogh. One of my favorite artists ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I had to choose, he would be my #1. 😎❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. nhuntting says:

    Reblogged this on Aesthetic Realism—& Life, Love, Art and commented:
    I care so much for this painting,! And what Van Gogh writes about the postman has me love him and the postman even more! Thank you, Sunnyside which is a wonderful blog I’ve been following a long time; it’s filled with riches. -NH

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, NH! I appreciate the reblog. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  6. More than just a painting but a friendship that made a difference in Vincent’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – I am amazed by the clarity and expressed in his letters. I am glad Vincent understood how special the friendship was. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rosaliene. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. penwithlit says:

    Reblogged this on penwithlit and commented:
    A wonderful painting and so full of feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So vibrant and gorgeous! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was not afraid of color, was he!? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Gia. 😎❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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