An early self portrait done in Paris in the autumn of 1886.  At the time of this portrait, Vincent has just arrived in Paris and has dressed in the attire of a gentleman of the times.  Compared to the disheveled appearance he preferred for most of his life, this is as formal and groomed as we see him. Vincent would paint self portraits to work on his technique, usually coinciding with times of the year when outdoor painting is impractical. His use of color is still somber and very “northern” or reminiscent of  his color palette in the Netherlands.  As these Parisian self portraits were a practical and economical way for Vincent to practice new impressionist and pointillist techniques, they are also provide a nice view of his burgeoning talent and eye for color combination and emotion.  While this portrait is rather dark when compared to later portraits he painted, it does capture the spirit of the man around the eyes.  A fierce determinism that will not be denied. Painting, Oil on Canvas Paris: Autumn, 1886 Gemeentemuseum Den Haag The Hague, The Netherlands, Europe F: 178v, JH: 1198