Roulin, Joseph

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Roulin, Joseph Gender: M
Joseph Etienne Roulin
born on 4 April 1841 at 17:00 (= 5:00 PM )
Place Lambesc, France, 43n39, 5e16
Timezone LMT m5e16 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 14°44' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 27°26 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 28°19'

Joseph Roulin (Vincent Van Gogh's "Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin")


French postman who, along with his family, was painted in Arles by Vincent Van Gogh in the winter of 1888, every member more than once. The family included Joseph Roulin, the postman; his wife, Augustine; and their three children. Van Gogh described the family as "really French, even if they look like Russians." In exchange for their work as models, Van Gogh gave the Roulins one painting for each family member.

His wife, née Augustine-Alix Pellicot, was also from Lambesc; they married on 31 August 1868. Joseph, 47 years of age at the time of these paintings, was ten years his wife's senior. Theirs was a working class household.

Joseph worked at the railroad station as an entreposeur des postes. Van Gogh and Joseph Roulin met and became good friends and drinking companions. Van Gogh compared Roulin to Socrates on many occasions; while Roulin was not the most attractive man, van Gogh found him to be "such a good soul and so wise and so full of feeling and so trustful." Strictly by appearance, Roulin reminded van Gogh of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky – the same broad forehead, broad nose, and shape of the beard. Roulin saw van Gogh through the good and the most difficult times, corresponding with his brother, Theo following his rift with Gauguin and being at his side during and following the hospital stay in Arles.

Joseph Roulin died in September 1903 in Marseille at age 62.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • friend relationship with Van Gogh, Vincent (born 30 March 1853). Notes: Also painter/ model


  • Relationship : Marriage 31 August 1868 (Augustine-Alix Pellicot)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth registry entry from Bouches-du-Rhône archives (no. 41).


  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Three)
  • Vocation : Beauty : Model (Posed for paintings by Vincent Van Gogh)
  • Vocation : Politics : Postal service (Postman)
  • Notable : Famous : Other Famous (Posed for famous paintings by Vincent Van Gogh)