Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait Dedicated to Paul Gauguin, painted in 1888, depicts the artist with a monastic severity. The portrait measures 24 x 19-11/16 inches and is oil on canvas. Van Gogh chose to represent himself with pale, ghostly features. The painting was created during his time in Arles as he sought to establish an artistic community.
Van Gogh made multiple self-portraits throughout his career but this one holds significance due to the dedication to Paul Gauguin, who was a caring mentor concerned for Van Gogh’s erratic behavior. This portrait is part of a swap between two artists and shows Van Gogh’s gratitude towards him.
The piece is currently housed at the Fogg, Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, MA where it can be appreciated by art lovers around the world. Despite its small size, the painting packs a significant punch with its haunting expression that captures not only Van Gogh’s physical features but also his inner turmoil and struggle as an artist seeking validation from his peers.
In summary, Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait Dedicated to Paul Gauguin serves as a testament not only to his talent as an artist but also to the personal relationships he nurtured throughout his life. The painting stands out for its unique portrayal of the artist through pale ghostly features and monastic severity while also displaying gratitude towards one of his closest friends and mentor who supported him through difficult times.