Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, March-June 1887
oil on cardboard,
41 cm x 33 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Around the world, people recognise this man with a red beard and an earnest look in his eyes. Vincent van Gogh painted about 35 self-portraits in total, most of them in Paris. For him, this was a way of practising portrait painting. His intention was not to portray himself as realistically as possible. He used the Neo-Impressionist style here, with short, rough brushstrokes. These alternate with longer strokes, such as the orange in his beard.
The background was originally purple (a mix of red and blue), but the red pigment has discoloured and has become almost completely transparent.