Paris, September - November 1886 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
46.0 cm x 38.0 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Van Gogh painted many self-portraits, more than 20 in Paris alone. In each one he looks different. He saw these self-portraits as a way of practising the art of portraiture. So he experimented with facial expressions, colours and forms.
In Paris, Van Gogh had discovered the work of Adolphe Monticelli (1824-1886). He admired this older French painter for his rich colour palette and thick application of paint.
In this self-portrait he tried out Monticelli's approach to colour and light effects. The pale tones of his face stand out starkly against the warm, dark red background.