Paul Gauguin (1848 - 1903), Arles, 1888
oil on canvas,
40.5 cm x 32 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Apart from the flush on the man’s cheek, all the colours in this portrait are non-naturalistic. Gauguin preferred pure, unmixed colours and solid outlines. But if you look carefully you can see that he had second thoughts and softened the line of the cheekbone using pale blue paint. He left the right-hand side of the painting unfinished.
Gauguin painted this man while he was living with Van Gogh in the southern French town of Arles. They worked side by side and both painted portraits of this distinctive-looking man. It may be Joseph Ginoux, a café owner and friend of Van Gogh.