Reflected in Lifes Mirror

Which artist hasn’t tried to do a self-portrait? I know I have – many times and I never could get it right!  Mind, you though, neither could anyone else.  I have an odd face – with no really distinguishing features: nothing that stands out.   The master of the self-portrait was Rembrandt van Rijn, he painted his every year.  But Vincent Van Gogh also painted a lot of self portraits in his life time too.  His portraits are mirror images of how his face appeared reflected in his mirror. This video is a wonderful chronicle of his self portraits, and there are also lots of them here.  I don’t have a particular favorite – but I do like the ones where he is wearing the straw hat and the ones where you can see lots of brushstrokes (in other words – most of them:))  Which ones do you like the most and why?

Self Portraits”

by Philip Scott Johnson

video by eggman913 Thanks!

16 thoughts on “Reflected in Lifes Mirror

  1. Had no idea Vincent Van Gogh finished that many self portraits. Having them morph from image to image was a great way to see the differences. Thanks, Lynda 🙂

    1. Yes, when its done skillfully, like this video its very effective Adam. i’m not too sure about the ones which ‘talk’ though…..
      There’s some clever (and patient people about though;))

    1. Very intense eyes, almost piercing really. I think some of the portraits are better than others – but all have a vitality about them, a kind of light.

  2. Brilliant video…I loved seeing the portraits morphing. Both Van Gogh and Rembrandt are old personal favorites. Speaking of the brimmed hat, I wish he did one self portrait with that hat on and candles afixed to the brim. I think he tried this so he could paint at night. As for your visage, the little picture you post of yourself, says to me that you are kind and understanding. Don’t know why…perhaps it’s a quality seen in the eyes.

    1. Hheh thanks Al! I think it’s marvellous that these artists left us so many self portraits. I have lots of myself and not one resembles me. its so hard to be objective about yourself. Perhaps its better to try to draw or paint from a photograph rather than a mirror?

  3. Thank-you for finding this, Lynda! I viewed it several times because there are two paintings I had not seen before and they have a dark background and he is bearded. I like those very much. Maybe it is because I had not seen those two before. They were striking.

    1. The good old self portraits eh?
      They are so difficult. lol.
      I always end up glamourising myself.
      The morhping portraits are awesome.
      I liked some of them a lot.
      Yet i though some of them weren’t too god.
      It’s definitely a hit and miss thing

      1. Don’t know whats happened to these replies but this is yours K
        Hhe you’re as bad as me! I can’t leave photographs alone – always taking the red eye out,, or smoothing out the lines in photoshop:D Self portraits really are the hardest!

    2. Theres some great ones in there – and some not too great. But there’s also a feeling of honesty. We were always given the advice to ‘draw what you see, not what you want to see’ and I think he’s certainly done that:) Glad you enjoyed the video Leslie!

  4. dear lynda,

    excellent! wow, i cannot quite imagine that vincent van gogh could have painted so much of himself. that’s quite a feat which is hard to break. genius! i love this blogpost. after all the many poses, ages spanned and the facial transformation through the leanness and fullnes of his skin, what’s worthy to note is the prominence of his eyes unchanged. it is the singular thing which has totally stood out to be constant.

    thanks. thanks so much for this inspiring write.

    1. They do say that the eyes are the windows to the soul Marvin – it certainly seems to be the case were Van Gogh is concerned. No matter how the portraits change – the eyes remain the same. No wonder everyone loves this artist – he is so accessible, we feel we know him. Glad you enjoyed this post!

  5. This is so cool.
    I like the haunting eyes from 00:18 to 00:24.
    I have seen most of those before so this is quite a treat to watch them morph.
    I love how they transitioned to the pipe.

    1. Thanks Oppetoo! they do say the eyes are the wondows of the soul don’t they – I do think that the excellent morphing makes him look like he wants to impart some kind of message to us:) There’s an idea for a poem there for anyone who wants to take up the challenge:D

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