Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, August-September 1887
oil on cardboard,
40.9 cm x 32.8 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Wearing light summer clothes, the artist examines us with one blue and one green eye.
For this self-portrait, Van Gogh used an inexpensive alternative to canvas: cardboard. He then applied a layer of priming with dashes of purple. But the pigment in that purple paint has largely faded over time. A few strokes of pink are still faintly visible in his shoulder. The original colours, carefully composed by Van Gogh, have therefore been lost. For instance, the purple background once contrasted with his yellow straw hat.