Vincent van Gogh self-portraits reunited for landmark exhibition
Gallery assistants look at a Van Gogh painting at The Courtauld Gallery (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
PA Wire/PA Images - Kirsty O’Connor

A collection of self-portraits by Vincent van Gogh showcasing the Dutch artist’s career is going on display in London.

It is the first time the “full span” of Van Gogh’s self-representation has been explored in an exhibition, with 16 self-portraits being unveiled at The Courtauld Gallery on Thursday.

Works on show will trace the evolution of his style from the early Self-Portrait With A Dark Felt Hat in 1886 to Self-Portrait With A Palette, painted while he was at an asylum in France in September 1889.

Van Gogh Self-Portraits exhibitionCurator Karen Serres puts the finishing touches to the installation (Matt Crossick/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Matt Crossick

This was one of the last self-portraits he created before his death in 1890.

The exhibition will also show Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear, one of the most celebrated works in the collection.

Dr Karen Serres, curator of the exhibition, said: “Van Gogh is an icon of self-portraiture.

“His self-portraits have come to define him in the public imagination, offering access to his personality and becoming the lens through which we view his genius, passion, resilience and struggles.

“This exhibition is the first to explore the full span of Van Gogh’s self-portraiture, which is striking in its variety, offering a unique and fascinating opportunity to observe Van Gogh’s creative and personal development.”

Van Gogh Self-Portraits exhibitionGallery assistants look at Self-Portrait, Saint-Remy August 1889, left, and Self-Portrait, Saint-Remy, first week of September 1889, right (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Kirsty O’Connor

A pair of self-portraits painted a week apart, while the artist was at an asylum in the south of France, will be reunited at the exhibition for the first time in 130 years.

The paintings show Van Gogh’s changing psychological conditions, from the depths of a mental health crisis to a state of recovery, and the way he viewed himself.

Alongside the self-portraits, the display also features two major paintings: Van Gogh’s Chair, described by the artist as a symbolic self-portrait, and a portrait of his friend titled Portrait of Eugene Boch.

The exhibition features works from collections at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Washington DC’s National Gallery of Art, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and the National Gallery in London.

The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Van Gogh Self Portraits at The Courtauld opens on Thursday until May 8.

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