Arles, November - December 1888 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
40.5 cm x 32.5 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
During his time in Arles (FR), Van Gogh wanted to paint 'modern' portraits that did justice to the sitter's character. 'I seek it by way of colour,' he wrote to his sister Willemien. The blue of the cap, the green and red of the coat and the yellow of the background are all echoed in Camille's face.
Camille was the youngest son of the postman Joseph Roulin, a friend of Van Gogh's. Vincent always had a hard time finding models. It was a stroke of luck that the Roulins agreed to sit for him. He painted more than twenty portraits of the family. Van Gogh made two versions of his portrait of Camille. He sent this one to Theo and gave the other one to the Roulins.