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Van Gogh's Self-Portrait

             The "d"Orsay" self-portrait is one of the most controversial pieces that Van Gogh painted. This particular piece of art was in fact his last self-portrait that Van Gogh painted before his death in June of 1890. The peculiar patterns found on the wall that is set as the background, is extremely reminiscent of Van Gogh's earlier work, The Starry Night. The controversy is brought about by what Van Gogh selected as the background of his portrait which is most likely an asylum wall. This is common belief due to the fact that that is where he spent the last couple months of his life. The swirls indicate his psychosis that he was most likely experiencing at the time of the painting, yet the face that he painted is with the most mastered hand. It is greatly detailed and seems to be painted by Van Gogh when he was not under a spell of madness. The painting is dominated by the blues and green tones that are evident in The Starry Night and some of Van Gogh's other works. Yet upon closer inspection, an onlooker would notice that even the head and more apparently the bust of the central figure, is made up of curvy, swaying, swirling, and swooping line clusters. Van Gogh did not allow his the "theme" of the piece to get in his way when painting the beard. The beard in the piece sets off and accents the rest of the work. The red toned beard is peculiar in that it is the only section of the piece that is straight lined and not blue or green toned.

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