Vincent van Gogh was a fascinating painter and person. He lived a life of drama, captured through his many paintings.
An interesting way to view van Gogh’s life is through his self-portraits, where you can see him evolve as a person and as an artist. Each portrait is unique and seems to depict his emotion at the time of painting it.
On the technical side of things, notice van Gogh’s brilliant use of color and directional brushwork. His portraits are not perfect renditions. But they are powerful artworks.
Another point of interest is that he seemed to have the same focused and almost depressed facial expression in every portrait painting. Based on his portraits, there does not appear to have been much joy throughout van Gogh’s life, despite the beautiful artworks he produced.
Anyway, here is a gallery of van Gogh’s portraits in chronological order:
It is fascinating how Vincent van Gogh can paint the same subject (himself) in so many different ways. Each painting is beautifully unique and is a fantastic demonstration of how to use color and brushwork to create impact in your paintings.
It is also important to note how experimental each of these paintings are. He painted fearlessly and clearly was not worried about experimenting in his paintings. That is perhaps why he is so revered today.
In particular, I love his interesting use of green in numbers 30, 34 and 38. I also love how he used a change in saturation to create a real sense of impact in number 23.
What is your favorite van Gogh self-portrait?
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