This has always been one of my favourite Van Gogh Self-Portraits. Compelled to paint, even after the previous nights violent drinking binge, Vincent gives us this tender, shame filled view of himself. His treatment of smoke is pretty subtle but it still serves its purpose as a distraction. This is essentially the definition of “Its all smoke and mirrors”. Clearly painted in front of a mirror, Van Gogh uses the smoke to distract us from his severed ear.


July 21, 2015

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