Australian impressionistic painter John Peter Russell (16 juni 1858 - 22 april 1930) inherited his father's fortune and would be able to buy Vincent's art. Van Gogh and Russell met in Paris and became friends. In 1886 Russell painted Van Gogh’s portrait that may show best what Van Gogh really looked like of all existing (self-)portraits.

Did Russel not buy Van Gogh’s paintings as he didn’t sell many of his own paintings either? Vincent asked his brother Theo, director of an art dealer's branch in Paris, to check if Russel was interested.

Today 134 years ago, on 24 July 1888,

Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles:

"I’d very much like it if Russell were to do something — however, he has a wife, children, a studio, a house under construction, and I can very well imagine that even a rich man may not always be able to spend 100 francs — were it only that — on paintings.”

Two years before John Peter Russell painted:

Portrait of Vincent van Gogh
Paris, 1886
Oil on canvas
60,1 cm x 45,6 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

You may also like to read:
Why did John Peter Russell not buy Van Gogh’s paintings?John Peter Russell's 'Portrait of Vincent van Gogh'

Your daily dose of Van Gogh.

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