Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, June 1886
oil on cardboard,
35.2 cm x 26.8 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
An écorché is a figure shown without skin, so that all the muscles and tendons are visible. Such figures are used as aids in studying anatomy. Van Gogh had this type of plaster model, which he depicted here. He was then studying at the Antwerp art academy.
The painting is an exercise in suggesting volume. In traditional painting, volume is created through the play of light and shadow. But here Van Gogh tried to achieve the same effect through the thickness of his paint and the direction of his brushstrokes.