Antwerp, January - February 1886 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
32.3 cm x 24.8 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
This skeleton with a lit cigarette in its mouth is a juvenile joke. Van Gogh painted it in early 1886, while studying at the art academy in Antwerp. The painting shows that he had a good command of anatomy.
Drawing skeletons was a standard exercise at the academy, but painting them was not part of the curriculum. He must have made this painting at some other time, between or after his lessons.