Self Portrait (1885; Paris, France) by Paul Gauguin

Self Portrait - Paul Gauguin - 1885; Paris, France

Artwork Information

TitleSelf Portrait
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1885; Paris, France
Dimensions65.2 x 54.3 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationKimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX, US

About Self Portrait

The artwork titled “Self Portrait” was created by the artist Paul Gauguin in 1885 in Paris, France. This oil on canvas piece is an exemplary work within the Impressionism movement. The self-portrait measures 65.2 by 54.3 centimeters and is housed at the Kimbell Art Museum located in Fort Worth, TX, USA. Engaging with the genre of self-portraiture, Gauguin reveals aspects of his own persona and artistic identity through this painting.

The artwork presents a frontal view of the artist in a semi-relaxed state. Gauguin is depicted with a contemplative expression, gazing directly at the viewer, a feature that often signifies a connection between the subject and the audience. The facial features, while somber, are rendered with a focus on naturalistic colors, aligning with the Impressionist style’s concern with the effects of light and shadow. Strokes of bold and earthy tones are visible on the canvas, delivering a sense of depth and character to the subject’s visage.

The artist’s attire is understated and appears to be a dark cloak or jacket, which suggests a measure of introspection or austerity. The background, indistinct and in muted colors, complements the subject without drawing attention away from the figure of Gauguin himself. The visible brushwork and the way colors blend and overlay provide a texture that both asserts the materiality of the painted surface and expresses the artist’s emotional and psychological state at the time of the painting. The signature of Gauguin in the top right corner adds a personal touch, further emphasizing the intimate nature of this work.

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