How Van Gogh saw himself.
Self-portrait with a Japanese print, Vincent van Gogh, 1887, Kunstmuseum Basel
Self-portraits played an important role in Van Gogh's work: artist's models were expensive and hard to find, whereas your own face in a mirror was always available. Vincent van Gogh created over 30 self-portraits during his career as an artist. These portraits reflect the changes that Vincent van Gogh went through over time – giving particular insight into his state of mind.
This portrait is a particularly good example of his use of contrasts: the fiery orange of the beard contrasts with the blue of the jacket, while the red tones in the face find a counterpoint in the emerald green eyes that transfix the observer.