Self-Portrait by Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh.The original is an oil painting on canvas, created in 1889.
This self–portrait is a particularly bold painting, apparently executed in a single sitting without later retouching. Here Van Gogh portrayed himself at work, dressed in his artist’s smock with his palette and brushes in hand, a guise he had already adopted in two earlier self–portraits. While the pose itself and the intense scrutiny of the artist’s gaze are hardly unique—one need but think of the occasionally uncompromising self–portraits of Rembrandt—the haunting and haunted quality of the image is distinct. The dark blue–violet of the smock and ground, the vivid orange of his hair and beard, create a startling contrast to the yellow and green of his face and heighten the gauntness of his features in a sallow complexion. The dynamic, even frenzied brushwork lends an uncommon immediacy and expressiveness to his portrayal. In its sheer intensity, it stands in sharp contrast to the other self–portrait he painted at the same time (Musée d’Orsay, Paris) in which the artist appears calmer and more self–possessed. Nevertheless, Van Gogh preferred the Washington painting as the one that captured his ‘true character.”
Resource: National Gallery of Art
Artist: Vincent Van Gogh
Nationality: Dutch, 1853 – 1890
Overall size: 57.79 × 44.5 cm (22 3/4 × 17 1/2 in.)
Framed size: 82.9 x 69.2 x 6.7 cm (32 5/8 x 27 1/4 x 2 5/8 in.)
Location: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney 1998.74.5