A a detail of the painting Vincent van Gogh “Self-Portrait”, painted in 1889 and kept in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris is featured on this 54 pieces puzzle. © Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais
Like Rembrandt and Goya, Vincent van Gogh often used himself as a model; he produced over forty-three self-portraits, paintings or drawings in ten years. Like the old masters, he observed himself critically in a mirror. Painting oneself is not an innocuous act: it is a questioning which often leads to an identity crisis.
Van Gogh “self-portraits were an important part of his oeuvre as a painter. Most probably, Van Gogh “self-portraits are depicting the face as it appeared in the mirror he used to reproduce his face, i.e. his right side in the image is in reality the left side of his face. This self portrait was painted in September 1889, while he was hospitalized in Saint-Rémy. All Self-Portraits executed in Saint-Rémy show the artist “head from the left, i.e. the side with ear not mutilated.
The artist wrote to his sister: I am looking for a deeper likeness than that obtained by a photographer.” And later to his brother: People say, and I am willing to believe it, that it is hard to know yourself. But it is not easy to paint yourself, either. The portraits painted by Rembrandt are more than a view of nature, they are more like a revelation”.
The original masterpiece shows the artist is wearing a suit and not the pea jacket he usually worked in. Attention is focused on the face. His features are hard and emaciated, his green-rimmed eyes seem intransigent and anxious. The model “immobility contrasts with the undulating hair and beard, echoed and amplified in the hallucinatory arabesques of the background.
5 years and above
RMN – Grand Palais