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Paul Gauguin joined Van Gogh in Arles in November 1888, in order to paint together in what Van Gogh called the ‘studio of the south’, but they quickly started to quarrel. After an argument on 23rd December, Van Gogh mutilated his right ear. He was admitted to hospital, and Gauguin returned to Paris. This self-portrait was one of the first works Van Gogh painted after this incident. He seems to have thought that the act of painting would help him recover his mental equilibrium.
oil on canvas
H 60.5 x W 50 cm
bequeathed by Samuel Courtauld, 1948