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Self-portrait, 1889

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Artist Gauguin, Eugène Henri Paul

In April 1903. Gauguin sent three paintings, including the Self-Portrait, to an art collector named Gustav Fayet and informed his friend de Monfreid about it. Later. S. Shchukin bought two paintings. Ruperupe and The Ford. from Fayet. Also at this time. Shchukin bought from Fayet this Self-Portrait. which makes it possible to infer that the picture was sent from Tahiti in 1903. However, no evidence exists that would confirm that both cases refer to the same self-portrait. As this Self-Portrait does not have a date written by the artist, the opinions about the date of the work differ widely. Rewald and Merling have dated it 1888—1890 and assigned it to the Breton period, when the artist lived in Aries. Vi ildenstein agreed with Sterling and dated SelfPortrait 1888 in his catalogue. According to Sterling, the reason for this date is based on the rounded form of the mustache shown by Gauguin in his painting Self-Portrait with the \ellou Christ. \^ ildenstein also suggested that in a letter to his brother of January 9. 1889. the artist talked about this very portrait just finished by him in Aries. Lately Cooper shared this opinion. However, the bright yellow line at the left of this work reminds us of the yellow background in many of the paintings of the Tahitian period. A -imilar yellow line is in the background of Self-Portrait with a Hat. painted during Gauguin's stay in Paris in 1893—1894 after he had returned from Tahiti. It is also interesting to note that both self-portrait canvases are the same size and have similar inscriptions on the back: "R GO. Self-Portrait with a Hat."

To the left of the figure "s head is a bright yellow band, which may be the trame of a window: to the right beyond the window is a vague outline of a pink cottage and a large red leaf. It should be noted that since this work was painted the paint layer of the portrait has become dull and the contours of the objects abraded, which makes it difficult to discern the details of the background. The existence of an apparent Tahitian landscape in the background indicates that the work was painted in Tahiti. This opinion is shared by Pertsov and probablv also bv Shchukin.

Nevertheless, the date of the Moscow Self-Portrait has still not been completelv determined. Efforts have been made to refer it to the last period of the painters life on the basis that it is similar to the Self-Portrait sent in 1903 to Fayet and also because the canvas is characteristic of the material Gauguin used while at the Marquesas Islands. However, these arguments are not very convincing, because Gauguin used this type of canvas at various periods during his lifetime, including during his stay in Aries in 1888. It might be more correct to date the Self-Portrait to 1890—1893. when the painter came to Tahiti for the first time.


Signed, bottom left: R Go

Pushkin Museum, inv. no. 3264



Bought by S. Shchukin from Favet (?) in Paris after 1906:

1918. First Museum of Modern Western Painting. Moscow:

1923. Museum of Modem Western Art. Moscow;

since 1948. Pushkin Museum. M -cow.



Institution Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 45 x 38 cm













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