At the end of the 19th century, Vincent Van Gogh painted tens of self-portraits. Between 1886 and 1889, The Hollander painted his face more than 30 times. For him, this was an acceptable method to get in in his own subconscious. This wasn’t only a source of incomes. Besides, as it can be seen in every new painting, he increases his abilities as painter.
Money was always a problem for Van Gogh. Troubled by the lack of resources, he had to resort to his own person as a pictorial subject. The fact was simple: He couldn’t hire a model. This diverted in scenery paintings, a discipline that later would raise his name as one of the most famous maters in art history.
In the letters that he wrote with his siblings, some lights that illuminate Van Gogh’s reasoning can be seen:
“I deliberately bought a mirror enough good to create from my image instead of a model. If I paint the color of my own head, not achievable without difficulty, I could paint other souls’, men’s, and women’s heads.”
An example that stands out Van Gogh’s virtuosity is the self-portrait painted in January, 1889, after cutting off his own ear. In the work, it’s possible to see him with his right ear bandaged, when, in fact, it was the left ear the one cut off.
Self-portraits not just denote Van Gogh’s technical quality, it’s just that they show sign of the psychological stated that he experimented. The use of warmer or coder colors, the gesture, and the expression are all of them features that show the typical individuality of Van Gogh.