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


September 1889, Saint-Rémy
Oil on canvas, 51 x 45 cm
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo

Catalogue numbers: F 528, JH 1780.

Restricted to motifs selected from within the asylum, van Gogh began a series of portraits. He did six of them at Saint-Rémy, and they stand out as isolated yet imposing achievements of the art of portrait painting. Three of the six (F 626, 528, 627) are self-portrait. The other portraits are the Portrait of Trabuc (F 629), Portrait of a Patient (F 703), the Portrait of a Young Peasant (F 531).

The present self-portrait is the most distorted, cruel and merciless of them all. Van Gogh looks worn and emaciated, it is a face like the potato faces of Dutch peasants, though one wholly lacking in rustic naivety.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.