Van Gogh’s life as a painter really only lasted about five years, but in this time he did over 30 self-portraits. Why do so many self-portraits? Vincent wanted to paint portraits but was dirt poor and couldn’t afford models, so he painted himself to further his craft. In this early work he is wearing a heavy hat and coat as he paints. This is not for style, but because he can’t afford heat. The dark muddy palette further enhances his impoverished state and mood. Speaking of palettes, Vincent is holding his in his right hand and painting with his left. We know he was right handed, why would he depict himself in this fashion?


March 16, 2015

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