Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear is an 1889 self-portrait by Dutch, Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. In this self-portrait, Van Gogh is shown wearing a blue cap with black fur and a green overcoat, with a bandage covering his ear and extending under his chin.
He is in a traditional three-quarter view, and his forward gaze falls slightly to the right, out of the frame. Behind him is an open window, assumedly letting in a winter breeze, a canvas on an easel, with a few indistinguishable marks, as well as a Japanese woodblock print. Source [WikiPedia]
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Facts About Painting
- This self-portrait was painted shortly after Van Gogh returned home from hospital having mutilated his own ear.
- Van Gogh had severed an artery in his neck, and was in grave health after losing so much blood. He was removed to the hospital, and he confessed to having no recollection of what happened during this fit.
- Van Gogh used a mirror for his self-portraits which is why some mistakenly think that he lost part of his right ear instead of his left.
- His facial expression is still and melancholy, as though he is contemplating his position as an artist.
- On the left, a blank canvas suggests that there is more work to come from this artist, as indeed there was, and a Japanese print on the right relates to an area of great artistic interest for him.
- This is a manipulated copy of a real print by Sato Torakiyo, owned by Van Gogh and pinned on the wall in his studio. In order to fit his own face into the composition, Van Gogh has shifted the figures and Mount Fuji across to the right.
- Japan, much like Arles, was an exotic place of escape in Van Gogh’s imagination, and the two are condensed here, much as they are in The Crau at Arles: Peach Trees in Blossom(1889), also in the Courtauld’s collection, in which a snow-capped mountain in the background seems to recall Mount Fuji.