Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, March-June 1887
oil on cardboard,
19.1 cm x 14.1 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
This self-portrait is one of the smallest oil paintings Van Gogh ever made. Actually, it’s more of an oil sketch than a finished painting. He has used a cheap piece of card and worked fast, with fairly broad brushes.
The green of his eyes and the orange of his beard leap out at you. The effect is enhanced by his use of mainly muted colours elsewhere in the picture. Originally, however, his face was more colourful; research has revealed that a red pigment in the paint has faded over time.