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Van Gogh Self Portrait: What Are the Most Famous Ones?

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Have you seen a Van Gogh self portrait before?

Every person has heard of Vincent Van Gogh and his famous self portraits. Van Gogh Painted a lot of great paintings in art history, which are now housed at the national gallery. His private collection consists of six self portraits, but in total there are about 35.

Van Gogh Self Portrait Value

If you’ve ever wondered how much Vincent Van Gogh autoportrait of himself are worth, you’re not alone. These iconic paintings have captivated art lovers for centuries, and their value has only increased in recent years. In fact, Van Gogh’s self-portraits are some of the most valuable paintings in the world.

The most expensive self-portrait ever sold was “Portrait of Dr. Gachet,” which went for a staggering $82.5 million at auction in 1990. “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear” is also one of the most valuable self-portraits, fetching over $40 million at auction in 1998.


In fact, there are a lot of self portraiture but just one image of himself painted in different ways. Since he is instantly recognizable by his gaunt features, red chalk hair, beard, and intense gaze, many portraits he made instantly became the artist’s signature.


Earlier self portraits and other paintings he made included everyday life and people like:

  • Portrait of a man
  • Artist’s studio
  • Struggling artist
  • Brightly lit head
  • Modern woman
  • Court painter
  • Facial features
  • Mirror image
  • Visual Art
  • Sexually liberated woman
  • Repeated silkscreen portraits
  • Oil painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Group portrait
  • Desperate man

When an artist paints, the artist portrays what they see in the world around them. A lot of modern art have an artist holding two self portraits or have the portrait of a man or a woman in their paintings. The largest self portraits were made by famous artists in the modern world like Pablo Picasso or Henri De Toulouse Lautrec.


On the other hand Van Gogh created his self portraits to convey what he felt. He created a self portrait facing death which showed his emotional and physical pain. Many artists have created iconic self portrait, which today an art historian would be able to relate to based on how those iconic self portraits are made.

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Many of these canvas paintings are displayed in the national portrait gallery. It’s quite amazing how female painters and male painters have added their painted self portraits to their private collection. All filled with beautiful colors, it is one that you can fully appreciate if you have a love for art.

However, if you have been wondering in specific how Vincent saw his earliest self portrait, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will be giving you Vincent’s most famous portrait paintings and how he made the oil on canvas paintings.

Soft Self Portrait: Famous Self Portraits By Vincent Van Goghs

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The most famous self portraits have been a staple of art history since the days of the ancient Egyptians. for many artists today, self portraiture is still popular among artists. Some of the most expensive self portraits/well known self portrait are displayed at the national gallery.


The national gallery is a place where famous portrait paintings/famous self portrait oil on canvas paintings are shown to the public. But no one will ever be more associated with self portraiture than Vincent.


Vincent painted dozens of famous self portraits for his private collection throughout art history and throughout his career. These works are some of his most famous and celebrated. The self portrait was a way for Vincent to explore his own identity and to express his thoughts and feelings through art.

For Vincent, the self portrait was not just a means of expression, but also a way to connect with the world around him.


In his self portraits, Vincent sought to capture his innermost thoughts and emotions, and in doing so, he created some of the most compelling and expressive works in all of art history. Here are several self portraits and other self portraits made by another famous artist model actress hybrid of Vincent:

1886, Van Gogh Self Portrait As A Painter

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Vincent started to paint self portraiture quite late in his life. When he was 27 years old, he never received any formal self portraiture training from a painting teacher. Many of his self portraiture private collection, are dated in 1886 like this famous self portrait in art history.

1886 is the year that he was able to portray himself properly in a self portrait as an artist. The beautiful sombre colors in this famous self portrait private collection. He was able to translate his vision to the oil painting/oil on canvas.

Several more self portraits oil on canvas he created became important self portraits. He would soon abandon making them as soon as he was able to experience other impressionistic art by a dutch artist, mexican artist, and female artists from Paris like the Arnolfini portrait, Pablo Picasso, or dalí’s self portrait of a man in the dutch golden age.

1887, Vincent Self Portrait

Vincent created most self portraits while he was in Paris. In his first self portraits, he presents himself as a respectable bourgeois. He is also seen in the portrait of a man wearing an elegant suit and felt hat. The famous self portraits also demonstrates the change in his use of colors.

The self portrait has a mixture of pastel colors to such an extent that it was already unusual for him.

He even changed the color of his eyes in the self portrait to match the palette, which is grey and blue. In reality, his eyes were green and in most of his self portraits through art history, there’s always a story of a desperate man changing his mood through out each.

1887, Vincent Van Gogh Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat

In 1887, Vincent created three self portraits, each with a different hat made out of red chalk. The first, “Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat,” is considered one of the most well known self portraits in art history.


In this painting, Vincent portrays himself as a stylish gentleman, complete with a top hat and scarf. The second self portrait, “Self Portrait with Straw Hat,” is one of the less formal famous self portraits, and shows Vincent in a rural setting, wearing a straw hat and work clothes.

The third self-portrait, “Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear,” is perhaps the most famous self portraits of the three.


In this painting, Vincent covers his injured ear with a bandage, creating a shocking image that conveys the artist’s emotional state at the time. Together, these three self portraits provide a fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of history’s most famous artists.

In this particular painting, we clearly see how he studied and applied the Pointillists technique into his famous self portraits.


Instead of painting the points however, he used short stripes of paint in his self portrait and in different directions. He was even able to pull off a halo around his head.

This famous self portraits of him became the sort of prelude which would later become his trademark throughout art history.

1887 – 1888 Self Portrait as a Painter

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All of the famous self portraits that Vincent painted from 1887 – 1888 were the last self portraits to be made in Paris. At the time, he felt exhausted living in Paris, which is heavily shown in his facial features on this particular self portrait.

Vincent told his sister about the self portraits he made, which he described himself as: “Wrinkles in the forehead and around the mouth, Red beard, quite unkempt, sad, and stiffly wooden”

Though in this self portrait he seems melancholic, he made was still able to make a statement through all of his self portraits. He is seen as a painter and a modern artist who uses a painting style with bright and nearly unblended palettes.

After staying in Paris, Vincent moved to Arles where he had hoped to make a community of artists who shared a love for elf portraits and other forms of art. He invited his friend, Paul Guaguin, whom he befriended in Paris to come stay with him in Arles and paint many self portraits together.

1888, Soft Self Portrait Dedicated to Paul Gauguin

Okay, so we all know Vincent’s history of mutilation (cutting off his own ear). It has become one of his identifiers as an artist and perhaps one of his defining moments in pop culture. But not everyone knows the story behind his thoughts and why he ended up doing what he did.

In Arles, Vincent and Paul, quarreled quite a lot to the point that it would sometimes lead to violence.

During one of their arguments on the eve of December 23rd, 1888, Vincent had a seizure in where he threatened Paul with a Razor. In his attempt, he only ended up dismembering himself, which severed his left ear.

Vincent was oddly in a state of excitement, and then brought his dismembered ear to the Maison De Tolerance bordello where he showed it to a prostitute named Rachel.

When he returned the next morning, he discovered that the police had arrived at his residence and blood was splattered in every room of his living quarters.

He had also severed an artery in his neck, which was grave for his health after losing a ton of blood. After that incident, Vincent was hospitalized and confessed to having no memory of what happened during his fit of rage towards Paul.

This self portrait of him, was created for Paul Gauguin as part of a swap that happened between the two artist friends before the whole mutilation happened.

1889, Self Portrait With Bandaged Ear and Pipe

What differentiates these self portraits/self portrait from all the others is the dramatic change in his facial expression. Vincent appears disillusioned and tired in this self portrait and a little bit sad.

After the incident, he only very few remnants of what happened. However, only one thing came up clear to him, and that it was his dream of creating a commune of self portrait artists crumbled to the ground.

1889, Self Portrait With Bandaged Ear

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Shortly after Vincent returned home, he painted this self portrait of his mutilated ear. The self portrait also serves as a mirror, which is why some people like to mistake that he also lost his right ear instead of his left.

In this self portrait, Vincent is seen in his studio wearing an overcoat and a hat. His facial expression in this self portrait is still melancholic but calm. Vincent loved Japanese art, which is why this self portrait served as a tribute to the kind of Japanese art he loves.

1889, Self Portrait

This self portrait created in 1889, was one of the last he painted of himself. In the first few months of the artist’s voluntary internment at an asylum, he painted a lot of landscapes instead of a self portrait. But in the early parts of July 1889, he suffered a severe breakdown while painting in the fields near the asylum.

The severe breakdown could have been a symptom of epilepsy, which incapacitated him for about five weeks. After this incident, Vincent went back to his studio where he had painted most of his self portrait/self portraits. He stayed there and refused to back into the garden after what happened. This self portrait is the first he created after recovering from that episode.

1889, Self Portrait Without Beard

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Most people think that Vincent is quite the vain fellow because of all the self portrait/self portraits he creates. He painted himself in his self portrait too often, but it’s not true. In reality, the artist was simply too poor and couldn’t afford to paint other models. He had to paint himself.

One of Vincent’s artistic idols was Rembrandt Van Rijin, who created more than 100 self portraits. Vincent admired his work a lot, which is the reason behind all of his own portraits. He called Van Rijin a “magician of magicians.”

In this particular painting, he looks anxious. In fact, he even gave this haunting image of himself to his mother as a birthday gift after his relationship with Paul boiled over.

1889, Self Portrait

Many art historians have debated whether or not this specific self portrait of Vincent is the last one or the other one where he didn’t have a beard. His facial feature are also different. He painted his portrait with turbulent patterns of color, which signals his feeling of pressure and immense pain. In this painting, it portrays the artist’s state of mind, which wasn’t good at the time of this piece of art.

Vincent died of a self inflicted gun shot wound in July of 1890, which means he had only pursued art for only five years. According to his many letters, Vincent also translated that the mute colors in his art represented the calmness of his mind. He also believed that the different colors and backgrounds represented his true character.

Van Gogh Self Portrait: Famous Van Gogh Portraits Made By Other Artists

As any art lover knows, Vincent was a master of portraiture. His paintings captures the innermost emotions of his subjects, from the wild frenzy of a lost soul to the quiet contentment of a woman at home.

Today, these paintings are some of the most beloved and popular works in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. However, they are not the only Vincent’s portraits in existence.

Over the years, other artists have created their own versions of famous portraits, often with humorous or satirical intent. These reinterpretations offer a unique perspective on Vincent’s work and provide a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the artist.

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Here are some paintings of Vincent that were made by other artists:

Van Gogh Self Portrait: 1886, John Peter Russel

John Peter Russel is an Australian painter whom Vincent met in Paris. in 1886, he made a portrait of Vincent in a conventional realistic style. Vincent had significant memories with this portrait and it meant a great deal to him.

Van Gogh Self Portrait: 1887, Henri De Toulouse Lautrec

One of the most interesting portraits in art history is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s 1887 painting of Vincent. The portrait is significant not only because of the subject matter, but also because of the artist’s use of color and brushwork. The brushwork is also noteworthy, as Lautrec used thick strokes to create a sense of movement. Overall, the portrait is a fascinating example of both the artist’s style and technique.

Van Gogh Self Portrait: 1887, Lucien Pissaro

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In 1887, Lucien Pissaro painted a portrait of Vincent. The painting is currently on display at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Pissaro met Vincent through another artist, Paul Gauguin. The two artists became friends and Pissaro decided to paint Vincent’s portrait.

The portrait is one of the few paintings that Pissaro ever made of a friend. It is also one of the few portraits that Vincent ever sat for. The portrait is a moving image of a man who is struggling with his mental health. It is a reminder of the deep bond between two artists who were struggling with their own demons.

1888, Paul Gauguin

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In 1888, Paul Gauguin and Vincent spent nine weeks living and working together in the South of France. The experience was a tumultuous one, and the two artists had very different perspectives on art.

However, they did manage to produce some beautiful works of art during their time together. One of the most notable is Gauguin’s portrait of Vincent. The painting shows Vincent seated in a chair, looking out at the viewer with a pensive expression.

The background is filled with bright colors and patterns, which are typical of Gauguin’s work. The portrait is a fascinating glimpse into the relationship between two of the most important artists of the 19th century.

Van Gogh Self Portrait: Fun Facts About Vincent Van Gogh’s Most Famous Self Portraits

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Few artists are as instantly recognizable as Vincent. Whether it’s his striking self-portraits or his iconic “Starry Night,” Vincent’s work is beloved by art lovers around the world.

But did you know that many of Vincent’s most famous paintings were actually self-portraits? In fact, over the course of his career, Vincent made more than 30 self-portraits. Here are some fun facts about a few of these famous works:

“Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear”

was painted after Vincent famously cut off his own ear following an argument with fellow artist Paul Gauguin. The bandage in the painting is a symbol of Vincent’s hope for healing and recovery.

“Self-Portrait as a Painter”

was completed during a particularly productive period in Vincent’s career, when he was churning out paintings at a rate of nearly one per week.

“Self-Portrait with Straw Hat”

was painted near the end of Vincent’s life, when he was living in the French countryside. The portrait is notable for its muted colors and simple composition, which reflect Vincent’s state of mind at the time.

These are just a few of the many fascinating self-portraits created by Vincent. By studying these paintings, we can gain insight into the mind of one of history’s most famous artists.

Here are some other Fun Facts that you may want to know:

Van Gogh Self Portrait: The Portraits Tell Us a Little About Vincent’s Personality

Vincent was one of the most famous painters of the Post-Impressionist era. While his paintings provide a glimpse into his artistic sensibility, his self-portraits offer a more intimate look at the man behind the art.

Vincent painted a number self-portraits throughout his career, and each one reveals a little bit about his personality. In some, he appears confident and almost cocky, while in others he seems more introspective and even sad.

No matter what mood he was in, though, Vincent’s self-portraits always show him to be a passionate and intense individual. He was clearly comfortable exploring different sides of himself, both in his art and in his life. His willingness to experiment with both his style and his subjects reflects a true commitment to his craft. And through his self-portraits, we get a rare glimpse into the mind of a truly original artist.

Van Gogh Self Portrait: Three of His Portraits Illustrated His Illness

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If you take a close look at any of Vincent’s self-portraits, you might notice something is off. And that’s because, during the last few years of his life, Vincent was struggling with mental illness. In fact, three of his self-portraits illustrate this fact quite clearly.

The first portrait, painted in 1889, shows Vincent with wild hair and an intense gaze.

The second portrait, painted in 1890, shows a calmer Vincent. He has cut his hair and beard, and he is staring straight ahead with a neutral expression.

The third portrait, painted in 1891, shows Vincent once again looking intense and wild-eyed. His hair is long and unkempt, and his skin looks unhealthy.

This portrait was done shortly before Vincent died by suicide. Through these three portraits, we can see the effects that mental illness had on Vincent’s appearance and demeanor.

Van Gogh Self Portrait: Other Notable Artists Worth Looking Into

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An older man clad in antique clothing gazes quietly on us. He said he had a rash, he’s tan with a white face. Caravaggio painted the image around 1503, after a 6-month hospitalization for malaria. He became known for being indulgent and created himself as Bacchus the wine goddess.

Like other self-portraits from this era, the works weren’t funded’ It’s a painting which the artists can display in front of potential clients. The piece highlights Caravaggio’s talent for creating portraits, historical scenes, or still life images.

Artemisia Gentileschi

Performing women artists during Baroque periods was not as uncommon as many people thought. Artemisia Gentileschi achieved a successful and fruitful career with her father Oratio who remained an artist. By portraying herself like a painting, Gentileschi subverted the patriarchal system.

Throughout Western artistic tradition a lot of allegories were always female which is a difficult task for any male artist to create. This time there’s no imaginary woman painted by flesh and blood.

Raphael and Michelangelo

Renaissance Italian artists often featured themselves on larger pieces. Raphaeles and Michelangelo have an intimate relationship to philosophy and saints in the Vatican. Plato debates his eternal ideas in a fresco at the School of Athens on the Stanza della Signatur, which is now part of the Vatican museum.

But in the center of Ptolemy’s line, Raphael stares directly back to us in a black robe. It is usually the artist’s intention that when he or she stares directly at their viewer, they will be able to do this. Then Raphael had his own characters.


This portrait is an older work by Rembrandt, dated from 1659 when he was 53. The artist had been at the very least a delicate moment at the start of his life after filing bankruptcy three years earlier. In his lifetime Rembrandt painted nearly 100 paintings, engravings and drawings. He has a serious and introspective nature.

The artist is honest in his depiction of the wrinkles. Lighting consists mainly of faces. The eyes of the artist meet the viewer, revealing the character that lived the best of all life and took on both good and bad things.

Arnold Böcklin

This bizarre piece by Böcklin traces artist’s legacy. A chilling figure plays a fiddle on a string. He pauses in the background as the music becomes strangely ethereal. This skeleton represents something called memento mori.

Nevertheless, Böcklin has no fear of death. It’ll be his motivation and inspiration to survive and be fragile. Even after his death his artwork can remain to commemorate his disappearance to his own planets forever.

Diego Velazquez

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Las Meninas has the strange honour of both being portraits, and themselves portraits. In the background, is the portrait of Margaritian infants and their entourages. The picture on the left is Diego Velaquez. It was the first court painting for the Spanish kingdom and it was his greatest honour to achieve. He fought hard but was brave to include him in royal family.

Albrecht Dürer

It’s the second self-portrait Dürer painted. The actor interacts directly with viewers wearing expensive furry jackets. On the left is his signature and the time of the piece.

A sign to the left states: Albrecht Dürer from Nuremberg depicts my character and color in my 38th year. The paintings of Dürer show his artistic talent and reflect his passion for human values. We’d feature Albrecht Durer fun facts in another article.

Gustave Courbet

A ristocrate meets Gustave Courbet in countryside. Bonjour Monsieur Courbet is an important piece of French realistic art which favours scenes of daily life rather than mythological or Biblical themes. In the image, we can see his intent to show up publicly.

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to get into painting, give paint by numbers a try! Click here if you’d like to check out Van Gogh self portraits in order.

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