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Neue Galerie

Vincent van Gogh "Self- Portrait"

Vincent van Gogh "Self- Portrait"

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From: Neue Galerie
Limited Edition: 25
Exhibition: Van Gogh and Expressionism
Material: Printed vinyl
Dimensions: 35" x 96" (88 x 243cm)

Hanging Hardware Included


Upon his release from the hospital after a nervous breakdown, the first work Vincent Van Gogh painted was a self-portrait. That painting is featured on these banners from the Neue Galerie exhibition Van Gogh and Expressionism. Expressive and introspective, the work is a compendium of the man: forceful yet peaceful, vibrantly colored yet cool, personal yet impersonal. Painted in the year before his suicide, the dynamic work seems to convey much of Van Gogh's inner struggle to reconcile his mental illness with his artistic vision.


I should like to do portraits which will appear as revelations to people in a hundred years' time.

So wrote Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh in a letter to his sister in the year of his death. It seems that he achieved this goal, as Van Gogh's self-portraits offer a bevy of revelations still today. Through his later self-portraits, we gain insight into his shifting self-image and frustration with his mental health through the lens of what the artist himself wished to project and the force of his artistry. The portraits are revealing indeed, and none more so than the Self-Portrait featured on this banner which he painted after having suffered an emotional crisis while living in Arles in 1889, the year before his death.

This Self-Portrait is the first painting he produced after his breakdown, and it is a window on his emotional state as he struggles to the regain the discipline of his prolific painting routine and reassure himself as an artist, something he felt was crucial to his recovery. In this fascinating self-portrait, Van Gogh captures and projects his own image of himself as an artist, in the role that he took on in earnest after past failures as an art dealer, clergyman, and teacher. Van Gogh's amazing brushwork and paint application, deep textures and forms appear solid and smooth, but have a vivaciousness that comes through with frenetic energy and urgency, almost willing himself to recovery through paint.

A detail of this self-portrait is enlarged on this banner promoting the Neue Galerie exhibition Van Gogh and Expressionism, which appears in white text below the painting. Below the exhibition name, white text reads “March 22 – July 2, 2007”, the museum’s website address “”, and the museum’s name and logo, “Neue Galerie/Museum of German and Austrian Art/New York”. Both sides of this banner are identical.


These banners were displayed around New York City from March 22 - July 2, 2007 to promote the Van Gogh and Expressionism exhibition at the Neue Galerie. The exhibition was organized by the Neue Galerie and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where it ran from November 24, 2006 - March 4, 2007.

About the Artist 

Learn more about Vincent van Gogh

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