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 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.
Vincent Van Gogh’s Portrait of Armand Roulin is in the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany.