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VanGogh used his self portraits to exhibit his belief. The belief inreturn conveyed a form and meaning with the help of juxtaposingbright colors. Mr. Van Gogh was a post impressionist artist of aDutch origin. His paintings were notable due to their emotionalhonesty, bold color as well as rough beauty. They also possessedgreat influence in entire 20th century arts. He lived between years1853 to year 1890. By then his paintings were known by only a fewpeople and was also appreciated by few individuals. Between the years1886 to 1889 Mr. Van Gogh painted more than thirty self portraits.The collection of his self portraits classifies him among mostprolific portraitists. Van Gogh made use of portrait painting as amode of introspection. The method helped him to make money as welldevelop his artistic skills. However, the portraits had a message toconvey to the audience that forms the basis of this essay.

AfterVan Gogh had started painting he made use of peasants as models.Afterwards, he made many efforts in experimenting using his colors inpainting flowers and landscapes. The lack of funds to pay the modelswas 1themain reason for this. The artist passed through many struggles inorder to make a living. He ended up relying on his brother and otherwell wishers to sustain him. Some of the well wishers were Julien whoworked in the paint store Van Gogh used to visit in Paris. It wasbecause of the assistance that he got that Van Gogh maintained hispainting profession. He considered painting portraits to be anapplication of the talent he possessed. The painter lacked funds tohave models pose in portraits he resulted to painting himself in theportraits. He also did not have commissions to paint, therefore,lacking funds to maintain him.


VanGogh painted more than thirty self portraits. He chartered hisdevelopment in a number of very candid self portraits. Each portraitgets used in conveying a different message from the other. It isbecause he made use of these portraits to exhibit his beliefs. Hemade use of bright colors to convey his meaning as well as his form.It, therefore, made sense that he left Paris for Arles because of thewarm climate in Arles and the brilliant light that consistentlyinflected the colors of nature. Van Gogh readily2incorporated the nature’s colors with colors in art when he wroteto Theo in the 1888’s spring. He claimed that the country seemedbeautiful to him since it had gay colors effects. He claimed thatthe water formed beautiful emerald patches or a landscape that isrich blue as they saw it in crepons. These factors played a vitalrole in all his paintings both his self portraits and portraits ofother forms. There were several self portraits that Van Gogh paintedas discussed below.

SaintRemy is one of Van Gogh’s self portraits. He painted it in the year1889. It was oil on canvas painting. The Saint Remy’s portraitbrought about all the Van Gogh’s elements in his final work. Thechoice of the colors in this portrait reflected his state of emotionsas well as a drawing style that pulsated with energy. It was paintednot long after leaving the Saint Remy asylum in the month of July1889. The portrait showed that Van Gogh was continuing in his fightwith his demons.

Inthe Van Gogh’s art’s history, this self portrait can be taken tobe the most intense one. The portrait revealed the internal crisisthat Van Gogh was passing. The Van Gogh’s piercing eyes held theaudience transfixed. However, the main consideration was supposed tobe what was taking place inside his head rather than what was takingon the outside. The picture’s energy builds starting from his eyesthat formed the feature that was most tightly drawn. Hisbrushstrokes’ rhythms spread across his face’s planes gainingenergy as they rippled through his hair and jacket. Finally, theyburst into a turbulence that was churning of an ice blue background.

Thecool greens and blues that he used when painting this portrait arecalm colors. However, when they contrasted with red 3hairthat was bright red beard and hair they strike a jarring note. Thenote perfectly set the portrait’s psychological tone. The portraitrevealed man’s courageous image that was in his attempts of holdinghimself up as he was in a continual wrestle with the inner fears inhim.

Theinfluence of Dutch art is another Van Gogh’s self portrait. It waspainted back in year 1886. He described it as a self portrait withpipe. Its model is oil on canvas. The self portrait was before VanGogh’s relocation to Paris. It is one of the Van Gogh’s earlierpaintings. The tones had&nbspa&nbspdark earthy appearance. It wasthe characteristic of the traditional Dutch painting. They helped increating an image of humble dignity. The painting got influence fromthe Anton Mauve’s art. Anton Mauve was a cousin in law of Van Goghas well as a tutor in early 1880s. The image’s style particularlythe hair and beard had the Mauve’s strong resemblance.3

Thepainter had also influenced by the Pointillism. In the year 1887, thepainter went to Paris and met Georges Seurat who was also a painter.Georges Seurat had formulated the Pointillism technique used inpainting. Seurat used tiny dots to paint colors that were not mixed.The colors hued after they fused the same way as the spectator stepsand they later formed the image. It was due to the patient of Seuratand also his analytical technique that Van Gogh`s was able to learnthe technique. However, he later learned the skill and his truecharacter of genius portrayed. He had an instinct for color and alsoemotional and expressive characters.

Vincentvan Gogh in the year 1887 painted a self portrait after beinginfluenced by the impressionism. The painting was on oil on canvas,the application of brush work and also color indicated how thepainter got influenced by the impressionism. The idea of theimpressionism was to create a color of natural light with only theapplication4of hues as they get viewed in the rainbow. The hue banishes thebrown, grey and black colors in the paintings. As an alternative,they got replaced with dashes of clean paint that had not been mixed.For instance, the jacket that the painter was in is painted withgreen and red strokes from the brush. They blend collectively on thecanvas.

Someof the sections in the painting blend naturally to a brown colorsome sections, however, retain the sections of the clean colors thatare not mixed. The unmixed colors blend optically in the gaze of theviewer they also increase the vitality of the paint. The dynamismof the brushwork of the painter adds to the quality of the painting.The physically visible texture of the brushstrokes portrays how histweed jacket was rough and also the softness of the felt hat that hewore.4

Thepainter had an impressive work on the brush skill. Another portraitmade by the painter was the one with a felt hat on him. It was in theyear 1887, with oil on canvas. In this set of art, there is a balancebetween vitality in the color of van Gogh and the liveliness in thebrushwork. The confidence of the painter and the control in the useof color was leveling to the peak of his career. The face of thepainter had formations of traditional and also a realistic piece ofart. The colors that van Gogh used to form the tones madebrushstrokes of various colors like green, red, yellow, orange,lilac, white and sky blue. The painter harnessed the liveliness ofthe brush strokes by the fact of controlling the rhythm, directionand also size. The colors emit outwards from the eyes and later makeorange and blue impression that had encircled the head of theportrait.5

Vincentvan Gogh made a self portrait with the bandaged ear which is one ofthe famous portraits that the painter ever made. He 5paintedit in the year 1887 with oil on canvas. It was as a result of theimpact of the emotions on color. There are two versions of theportrait with the bandaged ear. The dream that Vincent van Gogh hadwas to make a colony of artist is in the Arles state together withhis friend and fellow painter Paul Gauguin. After the arrival of afriend in Arles, the two painters had a misunderstanding and theycould no longer work together. They argued on the frequent basis andafter one argument Vincent van Gogh lost self control and he attackedhis friend. Later Vincent van Gogh got filled with remorse and itresulted to him cutting his own ear. He made the painting after aperiod of two weeks from the incident. It indicated the calmness thatprevailed after a period of storms.

Thepainter was quiet and also looked detached in the portrait. Thebright colors that he used in the painting indicated the hope that hehad and also simplifying the painting. Japanese woodblock were theorigins of the style that Vincent van Gogh used in the painting. Thepainter later suffered from the nervous complications that resultedto mood swings in the painter. The illness was what caused thedepressions in the painter and eventually his death. However, Vincentvan Gogh had periods when he experienced periods of understandingwhen he painted.

VanGogh painted the potato eaters` portrait in April of6the year 1885. It is an oil painting with the dimensions 82cm × 114cm. The painter produced the art in Nuenen, Netherlands. It is inAmsterdam at the Van Gogh museum. The present version in Kröller-Müller Museum is an oil sketch. The painter also made thelithograph version of the same painting. By the year 1885, thepainter had painted several versions of the same painting.6

Earlieron, Van Gogh had made a sketch of the potato eater’s painting. Itdid not impress his brother who resided in Paris. Van Gogh,therefore, worked on the painting till May of the same year. By thistime, the painting was almost over except for minor changes. Thepainter claimed that he wanted to show the peasants in their realform. He made choices of using ugly and course models with the ideathat his paintings would be natural and also unspoiled. He quotedthat he wanted to show that the people who were eating the potatoesin his portrait had tilled the land with the same hands they wereusing to eat. The painter wanted to show that the people had earnedthe food honestly and also share the idea of a civilized people inhis land.6

Ina letter addressed to the painter’s sister, he admits that thepainting was among the successful paintings that he had. It was atime span of two years from when he completed the painting. However,his work in the painting got criticism from his very friend Anthonvan Rappard after its completion. It was a challenge to the painter’sconfidence since he was an emerging painter. He later on wrote to afriend telling him he had no right of condemning his work.

Theskull of the skeleton is another work of art of Van Gogh. The skullhad a burning cigarette. The painting was canvas with oil on it withthe dimensions of 32 cm by 24.5 cm. The painting is believed to bepainted during the winter of the year 1885 to 1886. The painting isstored together with other collections at the Gogh Museum located inAmsterdam. Van Gogh made the painting as a result of humor of theacademic7practices that were conservative. It is a fact that indicates thepainter was in Antwerp at that specific time. He later admits thatthe classes he attended in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts were boringand not educative.

Sunflowerswere another portrait made by the artist Van Gogh. The original titleof the portrait was Tournesols. In the original series of theportrait, the flowers were lying on the ground. It was the oneproduced in Paris in the year 1887. The second set got produced inArles that indicated bouquets of sunflowers placed in a vase. Theopinion of the artist was that the two sets of flowers linked by thename Paul Gauguin his friend. Paul Gauguin had acquired the twoversions of Paris sunflowers. Later on, after the erupts of a periodof eight months Van Gogh&nbspwas&nbsplooking&nbspforward inwelcoming and also impressing his friend with sunflowers. Thepainting was like a decoration in the guest room of his house. It wasin this room that Gauguin resided when he visited Arles. After thedeparture of Gauguin, Van Gogh identified the versions as wings ofBerceuse. He also included the portraits in his exhibit.7

Thedimensions of the portrait were 92.1 by 73cm. Its production tookplace in the year 1888. None of the descriptions made by van Gogh isin line with the series of the portraits. It was because theirpaintings were on a size 20 canvas. It differed from size 15 whichvan Gogh commonly used and also indicated. The number of flowers thatwere indicated by van Gogh was also different from the numbers in theportrait. There was enough evidence that the second portrait was as aresult of enlargement. There were also two flowers on the ground thatmade another difference to the original copy. The third and fourthindicates the 14 flowers elaborated by the artist.8

Thewheat field crow is another portrait produced8by van Gogh. He made the portrait in July of the year1890. It is apainting believed to be the last painting of van Gogh. However,historians are unable to indicate which of the many paintings of vanGogh came last. It is because there are no records that indicated thelast piece of art by the painter. From the letters he wrote, It is anindication that Wheatfield with Crows portrait completion time was inthe month of July. The portrait has the dimensions 1890. 50.2 cm x103 cm. It is currently in Van Gogh Museum within Amsterdam.

Adouble square canvas was used to make the Wheat Field with Crowsportrait. It depicted dramatic cloudy sky that was filled all overwith the crows over wheat. The isolation`s sense got aroused by thecentral path that was nowhere as well as an unconditioned directionof the crow’s flight. The painting further displayed a wind thatswept the field. The wind in the painting filled the two thirds ofthe painting’s canvas. Jules Michelet was one of the van Gogh`sauthors. The author wrote a statement of the crow. The statement readthat they interested themselves in everything as they observedeverything. The writing continued to say that the ancients whoresided far from them with and in nature found no benefit in it.8

Thepainting got viewed by Kathleen Erickson to be expressing both thesign of his life ending as well as sorrow. Van Gogh used the crows tosymbolize both death, as well as rebirth. On the other hand, sheproposed the crows would be a sign of resurrection. The road that wasin contrasting colors of green and red was said to be sermon’smetaphor by Erickson. The metaphor given was on the basis of thepilgrim’s progress of Bunyan. The pilgrim expressed sorrow simplybecause the road was long. However, there were rejoices since theeternal city was in wait at the end of the journey.9

Thealmond blossoms are a group of different paintings by Van Gogh. Theyhad the dimensions 73.5cm by 92cm. Its type was oil painted oncanvas. The paintings are in Van Gogh museum that is located inAmsterdam. They are paintings of the years 1888 and 1890. Unlikeother paintings, the almond blossoms completion was in thecollaboration of Van Gogh and saint Remy of southern France of theblossoming of almond trees. The trees that were flowering werespecial to Van Gogh. They represented hope as well as awakening. VanGogh enjoyed these trees aesthetically and found pleasure in paintingthe flowering trees. The almond blossoms got developed by Van Goghwith an aim of celebrating the birth of the painter’s namesake aswell as his nephew.9


VanGogh used his paintings as an art to convey various types ofmessages. Despite the fact that Van Gogh was making use of thepainting in earning and nurturing his skills, he also used thepaintings in expressing himself as well as his visions. Most of hisself portraits revealed much emotional honesty. Different portraitsof Van Gogh conveyed a different message from the other. It isbecause he made use of these portraits in exhibiting his beliefs andthe struggles he was passing. The painter managed to reveal thisaspect in all his self-portraits. The St. Remy painting is a goodexample of Van Gogh honest expression. He used this portrait to showthat he was continuing in his fight with his demons.


Bassil,Andrea, and Vincent van Gogh.&nbspVincentVan Gogh.Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Pub./World Almanac Library, 2004.

Gogh,Vincent van, and Mark W. Roskill.&nbspTheLetters of Vincent Van Gogh.New York: Touchstone, 2008.

Suh,H. Anna.&nbspVincentVan Gogh: A Self-Portrait in Art and Letters.New York: Black Dog &amp Leventhal Publishers, 2006.

Thomson,Richard.&nbspVincentVan Gogh: The Starry Night.New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2008.

VanGogh was one of that times most prolific self portrait artists. Helived between the years 1853 and 1890. He was of Dutch origin and didmuch post impressionist paintings. His paintings were notable due totheir emotional honesty bold color as well as rough beauty that werepossessed in them. His paintings had much influence in the arts ofthe twentieth century. There were various driving factors that led tohis paintings. Lack of funds was one of the determining factors. Thelack of funds drove the painting of his potraits. It is clearindication that he lacked enough cash to settle the bills for hismeals on cash. As a result, he was forced to exchange the paintingsso that he could also get some few coins for his fare. He lived inParis with his brother due to lack of enough funds for his upkeep inthe most part of his life.

Healso used the paintings in expressing the visions he had in his mind.The love for his close members also acted as another driving force ofVan Gogh doing some paintings. A good example for this is thepainting of the almond blossoms which he used in celebrating thebirth of his namesake as well as his nephew. In his works, he madeover thirty paintings. Each painting possessed its message that itwas passing across to the targeted groups of people. His works ofarts are in the Van Gogh museum that is based in Amsterdam. Thepaintings played a vital role in his personal life and the lives ofthe people that were around him.

1 Bassil, Andrea, and Vincent van Gogh.&nbspVincent Van Gogh. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Pub./World Almanac Library, 2004.

2 Bassil, Andrea, and Vincent van Gogh.&nbspVincent Van Gogh. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Pub./World Almanac Library, 2004.

3 Gogh, Vincent van, and Mark W. Roskill.&nbspThe Letters of Vincent Van Gogh. New York: Touchstone, 2008.

4 Gogh, Vincent van, and Mark W. Roskill.&nbspThe Letters of Vincent Van Gogh. New York: Touchstone, 2008.

5 Thomson, Richard.&nbspVincent Van Gogh: The Starry Night. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2008.

6 Thomson, Richard.&nbspVincent Van Gogh: The Starry Night. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2008

7 Thomson, Richard.&nbspVincent Van Gogh: The Starry Night. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2008

8 Suh, H. Anna.&nbspVincent Van Gogh: A Self-Portrait in Art and Letters. New York: Black Dog &amp Leventhal Publishers, 2006.

9 Suh, H. Anna.&nbspVincent Van Gogh: A Self-Portrait in Art and Letters. New York: Black Dog &amp Leventhal Publishers, 2006.