self-portrait with a bandaged ear


Self-Portrait with Dark-Felt Hat (1886) | Self-Portrait with Grey-Felt Hat (1886/87)
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat (1887) | Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe (1889)

The more ugly, older, more cantankerous, more ill and poorer I become, the more I try to make amends by making my colours more vibrants, more balanced and beaming.
-Vincent van Gogh
Viewpoint Miniseries - Part 1 - Get Real: Viewpoint is your voice

“Every story is first person, whether the speaker identifies himself or not.” James Moffett

Just as you recognise a good friend’s laughter across a loud and crowded party, readers instantly recognise your voice in a story or novel. Your writing voice is unique. It stands out.

Sometimes readers will say they like your style—what they’re really saying is they like what you have to say. Is it fun? Radical? Full of hope, or edged with darkness?

Portraits and landscapes

In first person stories, you character will take on your unique voice in his throat—in his narration, his dialogue, everything. In third person, you as the author step outside the frame of the story and let the characters carry your voice from page to page. It is still your voice. Think of it this way. Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear would be first person and Starry Night would be third person. Both remain unmistakably Van Gogh pieces.

Deep power

When you write in your real voice, it has power. The writing flows better. It makes people sit up and take notice. When you write a story or a novel, you’re really just having a conversation with them. It won’t matter if you use first or third person if you don’t have anything to say.

Join us for A View to a Skill - Viewpoint Made Easy - A Writers Write Workshop on 22 June 2014

Watch out for Part 2 of our Viewpoint Miniseries on next’s weeks blog. 

by Anthony Ehlers

Vincent van Gogh

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe, 1889, oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom.

Vincent van Gogh created many self-portraits during his lifetime. In most cases Van Gogh’s self-portraits are depicting the face as it appeared in the mirror he used to reproduce his face, i.e. his right side in the image is in reality the left side of his face.

This portrait brilliantly illustrates it. It was painted in January of 1889 just weeks after part of Van Gogh’s ear was cut off. His right ear is bandaged in the portrait though in reality the wound was to his left ear.

The precise chain of events that led to the celebrated incident of van Gogh slicing off his ear is not known reliably in detail. It is said he cut off his own earlobe following a violent argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin. The only account attesting a supposed razor attack on Gauguin comes from Gauguin himself some fifteen years later, and biographers agree this account must be considered unreliable and self-serving. It does seem likely, however, that by 23 December 1888 van Gogh had realised that Gauguin was proposing to leave and that there had been some kind of dispute between the two. That evening van Gogh severed his left ear (wholly or in part, accounts differ) with a razor, causing a severe haemorrhage. He bandaged his wound and then wrapped the ear in paper and delivered the package to a brothel frequented by both him and Gauguin before returning home and collapsing. He was found unconscious the next day by the police and taken to hospital. The local newspaper reported that van Gogh had given the ear to a prostitute with an instruction to guard it carefully.


Kirby and Fine Art, PART 1!

Click each image for the name of the original picture (on the right) and the artist.

While subbing episode 77, ‘Royal Acadedemy’, I was determined to find out what each of the paintings used in the episode were from.

It’s interesting to note that none of the versions used in the episode are exact copies! Many of them look like they’ve been completely redrawn rather than just having filters applied.

Fun fact-  The dimensions of the Mona Lisa are about 30" x 20".

…Which means Kirby really is only about 8″ tall here!



Some Vincent van Gogh self portraits at museums and in private collections :

Self-portrait ‘à l'oreille mutilé’ 1889 National Gallery Norway.

Self portrait 1887 The Rijkmuseum,Amsterdam

Self portrait as painter  1887 1888 Van Gogh Museum,Amsterdam

Self Portrait Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut

Self Portrait with felt Hat ,Winter 1887–1888 Van Gogh Museum,Amsterdam

Self-portrait with pipe and straw hat  1888 Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Self Portrait  with a bandaged ear  1989  The Courtauld’s Gallery Collection

Self portrait with straw hat  1887 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Self-Portrait with Pallette  1889 National Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian

Self portrait with bandaged ear and Pipe 1889  Private Collection