Vincent Van Gogh painted the Portrait of Superintendent Trabuc in 1889-90 during his stay at Saint Paul for mental illness. The original painting is lost but copies of it survive. The sitter’s interesting expression is depicted in sparse surroundings and a grave mood.
Van Gogh was known to paint people to practice, as evidenced by over 25 self-portraits that he painted mostly during his time in Paris from 1886-88. Despite his artistic genius, Van Gogh’s troubled mind and perceived madness often overshadowed his work. In fact, only one photograph of his face survives.
Portrait of Madame Trabuc was another portrait created by Van Gogh in post-Impressionism style, and this painting can still be viewed today at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Van Gogh had a troubled life growing up in poverty and having bad luck with women. While Portrait of Superintendent Trabuc may not be as well-known as some other paintings by Van Gogh such as Portrait of Dr. Gachet, it remains an important piece of artwork that showcases the artist’s skill and unique perspective on the world around him.