Of the five portraits he made of Madame Augustine, not one of them have her looking directly at the viewer. She mostly wears a look of uneasiness and looks sideways since it was not Christian courtesy to look into the eyes of her husband’s friend. Roulin’s courtesy and gracious hospitality, mostly evident through his portraits is an example of a great friendship that has been designed on canvas by the receptive-half of this friendship; the artist Vincent Van Gogh.
Vincent Van Gogh was generally deprived of love throughout his life. His letters to Theo state the emotional connection and trust between two brothers; however, they do not elaborate the underlying tension that gripped Van Gogh in his most productive times. His colleagues deserted him because of differences of opinion, disputes or simply after protracted periods of non-communication.
Surely the Roulin paintings were his most beloved work but the products that preceded and succeeded this selection were mixed with a lot of delusion, desolation and consistent apathy.
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