Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, September-November 1886
oil on canvas,
46.5 cm x 38.5 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
This is one of the earliest self-portraits painted by Van Gogh – and the first in which he portrayed himself as an artist. He stands at his field easel, holding his palette. After more than five years of practice in the Netherlands and Antwerp (BE), he was eager to make his name as a painter in Paris.
The rectangular palette is covered with splotches of paint; each one is a pure, unmixed colour. At the top is a small jar of turpentine for thinning the paint. There are two holes in the palette: in one we see Van Gogh's thumb and in the other two brushes.