Self-Portrait, 1887

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

  • Oil on Pasteboard, 19 X 14 cm
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
  • F 267

Van Gogh painted over twenty self-portraits during his Paris period, including this work executed sketchily on cardboard. It was thus he practiced portraiture: with his own image in the mirror. While there were many portrait photographers, Van Gogh believed there would always be a demand for portrait painters. As he had written Theo from Antwerp: ‘Painted portraits have a life of their own, something that comes from the roots of the painter’s soul, which a machine cannot touch. The more often people look at photos, the more they will feel this, it seems to me.’

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