In 1887, the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) wrote to his sister from Paris, “I plan to head south for a while, as soon as I can, where there’s even more color and even more sun. But what I want to do is paint a good portrait.” By 1888 he had relocated to the southern French town of Arles, with dreams of building an artist’s colony in the sundrenched landscape. There, he found plenty of opportunities to paint portraits of the local characters. This notecard folio includes two such paintings: The Smoker, painted shortly after his arrival in Arles, and The Postman—one of the most-beloved paintings in the Barnes Foundation collection—which captures the warmth of the local postal worker, Joseph-Étienne Roulin, who, along with his family, sat for numerous portrait sessions with van Gogh.
Contains five each of the following two notecards:
The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin), 1889
The Smoker (Le Fumeur), 1888