Portrait of the owner of the restaurant by Vincent Van Gogh

Portrait of the owner of the restaurant by Vincent Van Gogh

This painting Van Gogh wrote in 1886 in Paris. The artist constantly improved in his craft, drawing portraits of acquaintances and friends. For the work, he never asked for compensation, setting himself completely unrelenting goals.

The portrait depicts Etienne-Lucien Marten, who owned a restaurant on Boulevard Clichy. In this institution, exhibitions of works by Van Gogh and other impressionist artists have been arranged several times. It should be noted that Van Gogh often exhibited his work in various cafes, restaurants and art salons, but in fact, not one of his canvases were sold.

The portrait

is written very carefully and is one of the most “academic” works of Van Gogh in this genre. When working on it, the artist partly adhered to the classical canons, carefully modeling the volumes and making the main emphasis on the face and expression of the eyes of the person being portrayed. The background and Marten costume, he depicts subdued shades of gray.

His figure is shown massive and heavy, as if not “placed” in the space of the canvas. The face is written with warm shades of ocher, pink color, through which thin bluish-gray reflexes of clothing and background can be seen. Van Gogh conveys the cheerful immediate nature of Martin, portraying a half-smile and a slight squint of his eyes.

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