The Story Behind The Painting
Ah! Portraiture, portraiture with the thoughts, the soul of the model in it, that is what I think must come. - Vincent Van Gogh, Letter to Theo Van Gogh, August 1888
Vincent van Gogh painted over thirty-five portraits in his short lifetime, also choosing to paint his own portrait in order to know himself more, perhaps, or simply because it was cheaper than hiring a model!
Van Gogh’s self-portrait in a straw hat, shows Vincent dressed in the yellow straw hat and work coat of the peasant labourer. Often, he wore clothes befitting his self-image as a working man’s artist.
This painting show’s Vincent’s failing health, with the deep shadows and tight mouth, the haunted gaze of a man suffering from physical and emotional stress.
Vincent’s interest in the human face shows his compassionate heart and interest in the individual character. The straw hat is now firmly associated with Vincent and his love of the sun and the colour yellow.
'Portrait in a Straw Hat' After Vincent Van Gogh. Oil on Canvas 30cm x 40cm available from www.cloudgalleryfineart.co.uk