Self-Portrait

Portrait of a man with a short red beard, white shirt, and brown collared coat. Brush strokes are very visible.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Portrait of a man with a short red beard, white shirt, and brown collared coat. Brush strokes are very visible.

Date:

1887

Artist:

Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853-1890

About this artwork

In 1886 Vincent van Gogh left his native Holland and settled in Paris, where his beloved brother Theo was a dealer in paintings. Van Gogh created at least twenty-four self-portraits during his two-year stay in the energetic French capital. This early example is modest in size and was painted on prepared artist’s board rather than canvas. Its densely dabbed brushwork, which became a hallmark of Van Gogh’s style, reflects the artist’s response to Georges Seurat’s revolutionary pointillist technique in A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884. But what was for Seurat a method based on the cool objectivity of science became in Van Gogh’s hands an intense emotional language. The surface of the painting dances with particles of color—intense greens, blues, reds, and oranges. Dominating this dazzling array of staccato dots and dashes are the artist’s deep green eyes and the intensity of their gaze. “I prefer painting people’s eyes to cathedrals,” Van Gogh once wrote to Theo. “However solemn and imposing the latter may be—a human soul, be it that of a poor streetwalker, is more interesting to me.” From Paris, Van Gogh traveled to the southern town of Arles for fifteen months. At the time of his death, in 1890, he had actively pursued his art for only five years.

On View

European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 241

Artist

Vincent van Gogh

Title

Self-Portrait

Origin

Netherlands

Date

1887

Medium

Oil on artist's board, mounted on cradled panel

Dimensions

41 × 32.5 cm (16 1/8 × 12 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Joseph Winterbotham Collection

Reference Number

1954.326

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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