Van Gogh. Self-Portraits is presented at the freshly-reopened Courtauld until May 2022. It’s an intimate yet remarkable exhibition demonstrating the many faces of the ill-fated and fragile genius.
An outstanding selection of 16 self-portraits are brought together to trace the evolution of Van Gogh’s self representation, from his early Self-Portrait with a Dark Felt Hat, created in 1886 during his formative period in Paris, to Self-Portrait with a Palette, painted at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in September 1889, one of his last self-portraits before his death in 1890. The exhibition also traces his travels, from The Netherlands, Paris and the South of France.
Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, one of the most celebrated works in The Courtauld’s collection takes centre stage and stresses Van Gogh’s psychological point of no return. It’s also a rare occasion to see the recently authenticated Self-Portrait from 1889 described by the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam: “His timid, sideways glance is easily recognisable and is often found in patients suffering from depression and psychosis.”