The Postman

by Vincent van Gogh

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The Postman by Vincent van Gogh at the Barnes Foundation

Credit: Courtesy The Barnes Foundation

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Vincent van Gogh painted Joseph Roulin, a postal worker in Arles that he befriended and came to greatly admire, for the first time in the summer of 1888. He used bold, primary colors for the postal worker’s uniform and contrasting colors in the background to create a dramatic effect. Van Gogh developed a strong friendship with Roulin and his family and painted several portraits each of the postman, his wife and his children.