The subject of the portrait is the 17-year-old Armand Joseph Desire Roulin (1871 – 1945), oldest son of the post-master Joseph Roulin. In the summer of 1888, van Gogh became friends with his neighbor in Arles. With great affection, the artist painted a number of portraits of Joseph Roulin and his family. Armand Roulin modeled for two portraits similar in format and execution; the one in Essen is the second version. It shows a young man dressed in a yellow jacket, full faced against a background of Veronese green. Van Gogh probably painted this carefully composed study shortly after the first version in December 1888. Apparently the subject and his family preferred this portrait.