Throughout the summer of 1887, Vincent van Gogh painted a series of self-portraits. This self-portrait is unique in its color palette.
Although many of van Gogh's 1887 self-portraits employ a warm, yellow-based palette, here van Gogh modulated his tonalities from the ginger red of his beard and hair, the muddied greens of his jacket, to the stark pale of his complexion. Set against a deeply shadowed background, this portrait recalls the influence of Rembrandt, who also painted his own portrait repeatedly and with great variation.
Vincent van Gogh used a bright palette and complementary tones to create Courting Couples in the Voyer d'Argenson Park at Asnieres. Learn about this painting in the next section.