Self-portrait by van Gogh


Mark Cartwright
by Musée d'Orsay
published on 16 March 2022
Self-portrait by van Gogh Download Full Size Image

An 1889 oil on canvas self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh (1853-90), the Dutch post-impressionist artist. Painted in September in Saint-Rémy de Provence. One of 43 self-portraits we have by the artist. The swirls of the background and the similarity in colour between that background and the artist's jacket are typical features of van Gogh's work in this period. The colour choice also accentuates Vincent's red hair and beard. The artist described his purpose with portraits in a letter to his sister Wil:

I should like to do portraits which will appear as revelations to people in a hundred years' time. In other words, I am not trying to achieve this by photographic likeness but by rendering our impassioned expressions by using our modern knowledge and appreciation of colour as a means of rendering and exalting character. (LW 22F)

(Musée d'Orsay, Paris)

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APA Style

d'Orsay, M. (2022, March 16). Self-portrait by van Gogh. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

d'Orsay, Musée. "Self-portrait by van Gogh." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 16, 2022.

MLA Style

d'Orsay, Musée. "Self-portrait by van Gogh." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 16 Mar 2022. Web. 16 Jun 2024.