Self Portrait1888 by Vincent van Gogh

Paris, September - October 1887. Van Gogh was eager to practise painting portraits, but was mostly unable to afford models. Instead, he bought himself a good mirror and used himself as his subject. He later wrote to his brother Theo: ‘because if I can manage to paint the coloration of my own head, which is not without presenting some difficulty, I’ll surely be able to paint the heads of the other fellows and women as well.’

This painting of the artist with his pipe is sketchy and a little awkward. Nevertheless, it is a spectacular example of the amazingly rapid progress Van Gogh made in Paris. The summery palette and loose brushwork betrays the influence of the Impressionists. The smock, hat and background consist of large, outlined areas of color, while the face and beard are built up in more detail using different tones.

It has often been assumed, given the light, sunny colors and the broad-brimmed straw hat, that this self... (
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Media: oil on canvas
Dimensions (h/w/d): 16 12 (42 30)