Self-Portrait with Yellow Christ by Gauguin

Self-Portrait with Yellow Christ by Gauguin
Self-Portrait with Yellow Christ by Gauguin
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Paul Gauguin took self-portraits on various occasions throughout his artistic career, and one of his most famous effigies is this one that he painted around 1889 and in which appears with the image of his own painting Cristo Amarillo in the background.

This resource of self-portrait with a painting, or combining several works on the same canvas he did on several occasions, he used it on multiple occasions, since for example a primitive ceramic also appears in his work La bella Angela or the portrait he made of Vicent Van Gogh, shows us the Dutch painter painting his famous Sunflowers. And even, in a later self-portrait he made around 1892 or 1893, that is, already during his stay in Tahiti he is represented again with one of his works in the background, in this case with the image of a sorceress.

Self Portrait with Yellow Christ

Self Portrait with Yellow Christ

However, it must be said that this resource of the painting within the painting, is not something that he invented. Cabinets full of paintings have been represented for centuries, however with impressionist painters such as Monet or Manet, this type of compositions began to be made in which references, influences or tributes were raised, both to ancient and contemporary authors.

However, hereGauguinchooses to use one of his works, The Yellow Christ,with whom he felt especially identified. In fact, he always in his self-portraits forces his features, making them even more Indian than they were. In fact, he went so far as to say, despite his origins in French Brittany, that he was not of the white race. But also in this case he also wants to be related to the figure of that Christ, posing a certain physical resemblance, and taking something of that paleness in the color of his skin.

The truth is that in all his self-portraits, how could it be otherwise, he takes his face as a mere artistic object. Here it could even seem that it is a carved face, since he models it entirely from very marked planes, both by the lines of the drawing and by the masses of color.

But although it seems that he identifies more with that figure of Christ, which is even part of the title, the truth is that the other half of the background (the right side) is occupied by another of his works. A work very dear to himVase in the form of a grotesque head, which would be located on a shelf in his workshop, and which he himself said was like a “wild Gauguin head”. It's as if he wanted to undress his double nature, on the one hand very spiritual and on the other hand tending towards the wild.

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