There are just over 3 dozen extant self-portraits by Van Gogh, mostly paintings and a few drawings. He created them all between 1886 and 1889. In a letter, Van Gogh explained his motivation for portraying himself…
I purposely bought a mirror good enough to enable me to work from my image in default of a model, because if I can manage to paint the colouring of my own head, which is not to be done without some difficulty, I shall likewise be able to paint the heads of other good souls, men and women.
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