Vincent van Gogh painted Self-Portrait with Dark Felt Hat in 1886. The painting is one of van Gogh’s earliest self-portraits.
In the painting, van Gogh is dressed in street clothes: a voluminous cloak and a dark brown felt hat pulled low on his forehead. His piercing blue eyes are deeply shadowed beneath his furrowed brow and his bright, ginger-red beard is muted in the low light of the painting. This portrait, painted shortly after his arrival in Paris, features the restrained and earthy range of hues that typified his peasant subjects. Van Gogh presents himself in a phase of transition, wary but ready to face a new life.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American painting, including Publication International, Ltd.'s, Monet and Impressionism. Other titles include Sunflowers, Monet's Garden in Art, Van Gogh: Fields and Flowers, and Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives. Ms. Mancoff is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.