Portrait of Or Felix Rey, 1889, by Vincent Van Gogh

While recovering at the hospital and before his return home in January, Van Gogh had become friendly with Pastor Salles and an intern, Dr Felix Reg. The two men would stag loyal to Van Gogh and help him in the troubled months that lag ahead. The artist's other true friend in the village of Arles was the postman Roulin, who kept in touch with Theo and advised him of Van Gogh's progress. Dr. Rey visited Van Gogh at his home on the day he was discharged, and the artist decided to paint his portrait as soon as he was able to. Some weeks later he produced this painting, which the young doctor's mother reputedly hated so much that she used it to mend a hole in her henhouse. Van Gogh's treatment of his friend is typically direct, and with minimal line and a subdued palette he captured the nature of the doctor. It is his approach to painting the eyes, however, that lend the work its real feeling, and with a bare dab of paint Van Gogh created a look that is piercing, get full of compassion,