An image showing a self-portrait painted by Vincent Van Gogh, a red-haired man wearing a hat

Self-Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, Public Domain

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  • Intro
    Museum's Description
    Teacher notes
    • Have you ever taken a selfie? People have been creating self-portraits for a very long time - even before cameras were invented, or widely used.

      This is a self-portrait painted by Vincent Van Gogh in 1887. Van Gogh painted over 30 self-portraits between 1886-1889, mostly because he could not afford to pay a model.

      Here, he has shown himself dressed as a wealthy Parisian. If you look carefully at the painting you can see the small brushstrokes he was using. This was a relatively new painting technique that he was experimenting with.

      Things to think about...
      • Van Gogh dressed himself as a wealthy Parisian despite being too poor to pay for models. It's as if he was using the self-portrait to create a character of himself who lived the life he would have liked.
      • What do you think about using yourself as a character?
      • Maybe you could have a go at painting a self-portrait or writing a story with you as the main character.
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