"For want of a better model," Van Gogh chose to paint his own portrait on many occasions. While in Paris between 1886 and 1888, Van Gogh lightened his palette under the influence of the brilliant colors of the impressionists, but he soon reserved the use of such light colors to express particular moods. Van Gogh's stay in Paris was a relatively happy one, and in this painting, created during the summer of 1887, he portrays himself with an almost light-hearted appearance.
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853-1890
Title
  • Self Portrait
Date 1887
Medium oil on artist board, mounted to wood panel
Dimensions Unframed: 13 3/4 × 10 1/2 inches (34.9 × 26.7 cm)
Framed: 20 1/2 × 17 1/2 × 3 inches (52.1 × 44.5 × 7.6 cm)
Credit Line City of Detroit Purchase
Accession Number 22.13
Department European Painting
On View Modern C234, Level 2 (see map)
Collection Émile Bernard (possibly Paris, France).
1910, dealer, Amboise Vollard (Paris, France);
1910-1912, dealer, Paul Cassirer (Berlin, Germany).
Collection Bernard Goudchaux (Paris, France);
by 1920, Collection Dikran Khan Kélékian (Paris, France and New York, New York, USA);
January 30, 1922, auction Kélékian (American Art Association) lot 100 (New York, New York, USA);
Reinhardt Galleries;
1922-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Paul Cassirer Gallery. Ausstellung Berlin, 1910, cat. 48.

Paul Cassirer Gallery. Ausstellung. Berlin, 1912, cat. 77.

Collection Kélékian tableaux de l'école francaise moderne. Paris, 1920, (pl. 68).

Modern French Masters representing the Post Impressionists and Their Predecessors. Exh. cat. 215, The Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, 1921, (D. G. Kélékian Coll.).

American Art News. 1922, p. 7, (repr.).

Auction Kélékian. American Art Association. New York,1922, (lot 100).

“Cezanne Leads the French Modernists,” New York Times, February 1, 1922, p. 27.

“Three Frenchmen and Mary Cassatt,” Detroit Free Press, February 26, 1922, p. D4.

Poland, R. "Modern Paintings Acquired." Bulletin of the DIA 5, 1, (1923): pp. 3-7, (repr.).

“Dutch Art at Institute,” Detroit Free Press, February 4, 1923, p. 5.

“The World of Art: English Classic and French Revolutionary,” New York Times, November 11, 1923, p. SM8.

Faille, J. B. de la. L'Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh, Catalogue Raisonné. Paris, 1928, vol. 1, p. 151, no. 526; vol. 2, (pl. CXLIII). (as from Arles period).

Faure, Elie. History of Art, 4. Modern Art, New York, 1921-30.

Heil, W. Catalogue of Paintings in the Permanent Collection of The Detroit Institute of Arts. Exh. cat. 87, Detroit, 1930, (repr.).

Seeman, E. A., ed., Kunstlermappen, Leipzig.

Barnard, E. Letters. New York, 1938, (pl. 68.). (color album of the Kélékian Collection).

First Loan Exhibition: Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat,Van Gogh. Exh. cat. 72, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1929, p.47 (repr.).

A Century of Progess Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture. Exh. cat. 314, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 1934, p. 48.

Walther, J. "Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Vincent Van Gogh." Bulletin of the DIA 16, 1 (1936): pp. 2-3, (repr. on cover).

Scherjon, W., and J. De Gruyter. Vincent Van Gogh's Great Period Arles, St. Remy and Auvers sur Oise. Amsterdam, 1937.

Red Cross Benefit Exhibition. Art Gallery of Toronto. Toronto, 1940.

Newberry, J. S. "The Age of Impressionism and Realism." The Art News 38, 31 (May, 1940): p. 14.

Aspects of French Painting from Cézanne to Picasso. Exh. cat. 59, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, 1941, (repr.).

Van Gogh Exhibition. Fine Arts Gallery. San Diego,1941.

Paintings by Van Gogh. Exh. cat. 4, Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore, 1941, p. 14.

Richardson, E. P., ed. Catalogue of Paintings. Detroit, 1944, p. 54, no. 87.

Work by Vincent van Gogh. Exh. cat. 16, Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, 1948, p. 19, (repr. frontispiece).

Laporte, P. M. "Lovis Corinth & German Expressionism." Magazine of Art 42, 8 (1949): pp. 301-5, (fig. 5.)

Grigaut, P.L. (intro.). The Two Sides of the Medal. Exh. cat. 122, Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1954, p. 57.

Bromig-Kolleritz von Novisancz, K. "Die Selbstbildnisse Vincent van Goghs." Ph.D. diss., Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, 1954.

Masterpieces of Art in Memory of W. R.Valentiner. Exh. cat. 63, North Carolina Museum of Art. Raleigh, 1959.

Huisman, P. Van Gogh Portraits. Lausanne, 1962, p. 62.

Erpel, F. Die Selbstbildnisse Vincent van Goghs. Berlin, 1963, pp. 14, 16-17, 55 (repr.).

_______. Van Gogh: The Self-Portraits. New York, 1968, p. 56.

Charensol, G. "Vincent V. G.par lui-meme." Collection Génies et Réalités: Van Gogh (1968) pp. 78-79,(repr. p. 81.).

Faille, J. B. de la. The Works of Vincent van Gogh 3rd. ed. Amsterdam, 1970, p. 185 (no. F526, repr.).

Lecaldano, P. L'Opera pittorica completa di Van Gogh, Vol. 1. Milan, 1971, p. 118, (no. 437, repr.).

Cinco Siglos de Obras Maestras. Exh. cat. 23, Museo de Jade. San Jose, Costa Rica, 1978, p.71(color cover ill.).

Henning, E. B. "A Late Self-Portrait of Lovis Corinth." Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 67, 7 (1980): pp. 279-284 (fig. 7).

Failing, P. Best-loved Art from American Museums. New York, pp. 78-79 (repr.).

Hulsker, J. The Complete Van Gogh. New York, 1984, pp. 288, 290-291, (no. 1309, repr.).

DIA, 100 Masterworks from The Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1985, pp. 120-121, (repr.).

Stein, S. A. Van Gogh A Retrospective. New York, 1986, p. 115 (pl. 35).

Feilchenfeldt, W. Vincent van Gogh & Paul Cassirer. Berlin, 1988, p. 102 (no. F526 repr.).

Welsh-Ovcharov, B. Vincent Van Gogh à Paris. Exh. cat. 39, Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 1988, pp. 39-40 (repr.)

Hulsker, J. The New Complete Van Gogh Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. Amsterdam, ca. 1996, pp. 288, 291 (no. 1309, repr.).

Walther, I. F. and Metzger, R. Vincent van Gogh: The Complete Paintings. Cologne, 1997, p. 269 (repr.).

Van Gogh: Face to Face--the Portraits. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 2000-2001, p. 104 (fig. 96). (exh. org. by George Keyes, George. T. M. Shackelford and Joseph J. Rishel).

Treasures from the Detroit Institute of Arts: Masters of Impressionism and Modern Art. Sogo Museum of Art, 2001, pp. 34, 84 (no. 22, color repr. p. 85)
(in Japanese, entry by G. Keyes on file).

Calabrese, O. L'Art de l'Autoportrait. Evreaux, 2006.