Self-Portraits, 1887

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

  • Pencil, pen in dark-brown ink, on wove paper, 31 x 24 cm
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
  • F 1378r


In Paris Van Gogh endeavoured to master the art of portrait painting and often chose his own mirror image as his subject. This sheet of self-portraits also dates from his Paris period. Van Gogh produced a total of 39 self portraits, the majority of which were painted. This work is one of his two self-portrait drawings to have been preserved.

More information about "Self-Portraits"

Optimum use

Van Gogh made optimum use of this sheet of paper, on which he drew not only two complete self-portraits but also various features of his face, including an eye, a mouth and a nose. The sheet is no longer complete, for the upper left corner has been torn off. The lines beneath the torn edge suggest that there was another self portrait in this corner.
The paper on which Van Gogh drew these studies was part of a much larger sheet that the artist tore into four pieces. He used three of the four pieces for drawings.

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