Portraits of Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Self-portrait without beard, end September 1889, (F 525), Oil on canvas, 40 × 31 cm., Private collection. This may have been Van Gogh's last self-portrait. Given as a birthday gift to his mother. (See Remarks below)[1]

This article refers to self portraits and portraits of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890). It includes self-portraits, portraits of him by other artists, and photographs, one of which is dubious. Van Gogh's dozens of self-portraits were an important part of his oeuvre as a painter. Most probably, van Gogh's self-portraits are depicting the face as it appeared in the mirror he used to reproduce his face, i.e. his right side in the image is in reality the left side of his face.


Paris 1886

The first self-portrait by van Gogh that survived, is dated 1886.

Paris 1887

Portrait of Theo, March or April 1887, (once considered Self-Portrait with Straw Hat), re-attributed in 2011 by the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (F294)


Painter on his way to work: Vincent van Gogh on the road to Montmajour
August 1888 (F 448)
Oil on canvas, 48 × 44 cm
formerly Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum, Magdeburg, believed to have been destroyed by fire in World War II


All the self-portraits executed in Saint-Rémy show the artist's head from the left, i.e. the side with non-mutilated ear.


No self-portraits were executed by van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise, during the final weeks of his life.



A confiscated self-portrait [Self-portrait dedicated to Paul Gauguin, September 1888], by Vincent van Gogh is auctioned at Gallerie Fisher, Lucerne, in 1939. The winning bid was $40,000 by Dr. Frankfurter.[11]


In Nazi Germany, Vincent van Gogh paintings were among those labelled "degenerate art". Works were stolen and/or destroyed by German authorities including the self-portrait dedicated to Paul Gauguin, September 1888, depicted in the black and white picture.


Self-Portrait, à l'oreille mutilé, 1889? (F 528)
Oil on canvas, 40 × 31 cm
National Gallery, Oslo

Almost at the same time as when his Catalogue raisonné was published, Jacob Baart de la Faille had to admit that he had included paintings emerging from dubious sources, and of dubious quality. Shortly after, in 1930, De la Faille rejected some thirty odd paintings, which he had originally included in his catalogue - together with a hundred of others he had already excluded: Self-portraits - and Sunflowers - held a prominent place in the set he now rejected. In 1970, the editor's of De la Faille's posthumous manuscript brand marked most of these dubious Self-portraits as forgeries,[13] but could not settle all disputes, at least on one:

Meanwhile, the authenticity of a second "self-portrait" has been challenged:

Portraits of Vincent van Gogh by other artists


Photographs and supposed photographs


  1. 1 2 Pickvance (1986), 131
  2. "Vincent van Gogh - Self-portrait". Online catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
  3. "To Theo van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Thursday, 5 and Friday, 6 September 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. Note 4. Retrieved 26 February 2012. People say – and I’m quite willing to believe it – that it's difficult to know oneself ...
  4. "To Theo van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, on or about Friday, 20 September 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. Note 14. Retrieved 26 February 2012. I have another one which is an attempt from when I was ill.
  5. "To Willemien van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Thursday, 19 September 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. Note 16. Retrieved 26 February 2012. Lately I’ve done two portraits of myself, one of which is quite in character, I think, ...
  6. 1 2 Walther 2000, p. 74.
  7. Dorn 2005 pp. 19,21
  8. Hendriks, Tilborgh 2011 pp. 271-3
  9. Tralbaut 1961. pp. 188-89
  10. "To Theo van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Saturday, 28 September 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. 1r:1. ... a little portrait of me.
  11. Hammerstingl, Werner (1998). "Entartete Kunst", olinda.com. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  12. "Fogg Museum collection". Harvardartmuseums.org. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  13. De la Faille 1970, nos. CHK
  14. De la Faille 1970, no. 476a: inscribed étude à la bougie
  15. Marit Ingeborg Lange: The provenance of Vincent van Gogh's 'Self-portrait' in Oslo, Burlington Magazine CXLVIII/1235, February 2006, p.113-116
  16. VG Gallery
  17. letters
  18. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/feb/24/arts.highereducation


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Self-portraits by Vincent van Gogh.

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/25/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.