GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)

Self-Portrait with Pipe

Spring 1886, Paris
Oil on canvas, 46 x 38 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Catalogue numbers: F 180, JH 1194.

When van Gogh was lacking models, he chose his own likeness to work from. It provided him easy access for exercise and it also gave him an opportunity for self-study that accorded with his wish to define his own persona as an artist.

The Self-Portrait with Pipe belongs to the earliest paintings of this genre that van Gogh produced in Paris. He portrayed himself smoking a pipe, one of the few attributes he used for his images apart from hats or painter's accessories. When he painted this canvas, he was still using muted colours in the tradition of 19th-century portraits.

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