Self-Portrait with Dark Felt Hat at the Easel Vincent van Gogh Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Vincent van Gogh is among the most renowned artists whose artwork leans towards self-impressionism.

In the Self-Portrait with Dark Felt Hat at the Easel, Van Gogh is donning a black coat and dark hat with a well-trimmed beard, which makes him appear like a very respectable gentleman. He stands in front of his easel fitted with the canvas and holds a rectangular palette covered in splotches of different coloured paints. Van Gogh drew the portrait between September and November of 1886 after relocating to Paris.


The self-composition of Vincent van Gogh in his Self-Portrait with Dark Felt Hat at the Easel suggests self-assurance. He posed as an established painter as he sincerely believed he had become. This portrait is enough proof that Van Gogh was confident with his appearance and needed to exhibit his feelings.

The portrait exhibits relentless brushwork, which reveals the strain and worry in Van Gogh's life.Van Gogh also depicts his nervous energy by drawing rhythmic patterns of thick paint; he was clearly pressing the brush too hard on the canvas. These patterns are accompanied by multiple short stripes, dots, comma-shaped marks, swirly strokes, angled lines, and parallel marks flowing across the canvas, lined up straight or radiating from random points.

The icing on the cake is the complementary colours of yellow-purple, red-green, and orange-blue, giving the paint a vibrant allure but subtly. In a nutshell, the entire art showcases Vincent van Gogh's struggles in the past and the current status of his newfound self-acceptance and self-confidence.

Most of Van Gogh's post-impressionist art is similar poses but with different attires, hats, glasses, and pipes. Some famous creations include Self-Portrait with Dark Felt Hat, Self-Portrait with a Pipe, and Self-Portrait with Straw Hat and Pipe. He also owns a Self-Portrait without a beard, which he gifted his mother as a birthday gift.

Most of Van Gogh's inspiration is from life itself. He created the Self-Portrait with Dark Felt Hat at the Easel shortly after suffering a breakdown during his time in an asylum in Saint Remy. Van Gogh also derived his inspiration from the Dutch genre of painting and the realist paintings of Millet. His artwork also depicts that he had some influence from Japanese woodwork prints.

Some of the artists who inspired Van Gogh include Pissarro, Monet, Bernard, and Paul Gauging. He had a strong relationship with the latter artist, and together they created similar art. In fact, Paul Gauging made a portrait of Van Gogh drawing sunflowers. His unique and skilful work inspired both modern and ancient artists, including Judy Shreeves, Stella Maris Gugliotta, Jim Merrill, and Xeta Prime.