Portrait of Camille Roulin by Vincent Van Gogh

Portrait of Camille Roulin by Vincent Van Gogh

In drawing portraits and figures, Van Gogh saw a fairly sure way to improve the quality of his work. This genre was initially difficult for him, but, striving for portrait accuracy, to a subtle transfer of character, Van Gogh increasingly improved in his skills.

During his stay in Arles, he became friends with the Rulen couple. They lived near the yellow house, and the artist was a frequent visitor to them. In 1888, he decided to draw portraits of all the members of the family of Roelen: Joseph, his wife and three children. All of them were very characteristic features, and Van Gogh was interested in conveying

individuality in each portrait. In total, more than twenty works were written, including this portrait, which depicts the eleven-year-old Camille.

Van Gogh depicted his yellow background. The yellow color was for the artist a symbol of life and sun. The face of Camille with soft childish features is also written in shades of yellow. Only the boy’s blue eyes stand out against this background. The composition and colors of the portrait are constructed in such a way that the view of the viewer looking at the picture constantly returns to these pure blue eyes, looking down in embarrassment. Another bright color accent is created by a massive beret on the boy’s head.

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