After decades of debate about who painted van Gogh’s 1889 portrait, the experts have finally reached an accord. Since 1970 there has been several conclusions and arguments drawing speculations on the artist behind the portrait. In 2014, experts from Amsterdam were asked to examine the piece in the Norwegian national museum Nasjonalmuseet–concluded that the work was completed by the Dutch painter amid his psychological struggles making the piece a significant part of his career. It was remarkably the only piece that was created while suffering from a mental disorder. According to Louis van Tilborgh–Van Gogh Museum senior researcher “although Van Gogh was frightened to admit at that point that he was in a similar state to his fellow residents at the asylum, he probably painted this portrait to reconcile himself with what he saw in the mirror: a person he did not wish to be, yet was.”
Confirming the origins from the letter that van Gogh wrote to his brother back in 1889 being confined in a mental institution located in the South of France, he mentioned to Theo the same year his painting was released “an attempt from when I was ill”. The palettes were less bright and gloomy, depicting a lifeless expression of the Dutch painter.
Presently, “Self-Portrait (1889)” is displayed in the Norwegian National Museum in Oslo, Norway.