In Vincent Van Gogh’s “Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin,” Van Gogh depicts a portrait of his drinking companion and good friend, Joseph Roulin. Vincent Van Gogh describes Roulin as “a good soul and so wise and so full of feeling” and relates him to Socrates in many of his letters to his brother, Theo. While Van Gogh is best known for his vibrant impressionist landscapes, Van Gogh felt that portraits were far superior to landscapes by describing them as “the only thing in painting that excites me to the depth of my soul.”
It is no wonder then that in 1888 Van Gogh painted not only Roulin’s portrait but also every member of his family, including his wife (Augustine) and his three children, Armand, Camille and Marcelle, multiple times. In this oil paintings, Van Gogh used vibrant, bold primary colors to create contrast between his subject matter, the person, and his/her clothing and background. Sold in August of 1989 for $113 million dollars, this portrait by Van Gogh is one of his most expensive painting ever. Best framed in gold, you can bring this infamous art masterpiece home today!