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Van Gogh self-portrait on display in Cardiff
<< Back Posted on 20th March 2024

By Abbie Dix

Van Gogh self-portrait on display in Cardiff

Artwork is part of a brand-new exhibition Art of the Selfie at National Museum Cardiff.

Is a self-portrait the original selfie? An exciting new Amgueddfa Cymru exhibition Drych ar yr Hunlun / Art of the Selfie explores and asks this question.

The exhibition, on display from 16 March 2024 to 26 January 2025, features the master of self-portraits, Van Gogh, with the painting Portrait of the Artist (1887) on show in Wales for the first time, thanks to a reciprocal loan with the Musée D’Orsay, Paris.

Joining Van Gogh will be a selection of artists from the national collection of Wales, including Rembrandt, Brenda Chamberlain, Francis Bacon, Bedwyr Williams and Anya Paintsil. Together, they showcase a wide range of different methods and artistic approaches to the concept of the self-portrait.

Throughout history, many artists have used self-portraits as ways to explore their identities and express themselves to the world. Van Gogh (1853-1890) painted no fewer than thirty-five self-portraits and became arguably one of the most recognizable faces in Western art.

Dr Kath Davies, Director of Collections and Research, Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Van Gogh’s self-portrait to National Museum Cardiff. I am sure visitors to the museum will enjoy seeing this work by one of the world’s best-known painters displayed alongside paintings by artists from our collection here in Wales.”

The selection of self-portraits on display show the different ways in which artists have chosen to characterize themselves in the same way that people present and share images of themselves today.

Dr Kath Davies added,

“Self-portraits and selfies are two different things, but they do have something in common – both are used to show who you are as a person. We would like to encourage visitors to feel inspired by the exhibition and take their own self-portraits in all kinds of creative ways.”

For the Art of the Selfie exhibition, Amgueddfa Cymru is encouraging visitors to pay what they can for the tickets.

Jane Richardson, Chief Executive of Amgueddfa Cymru, explains:

“The national collection belongs to the people of Wales. On your behalf, we care for it, conserve it and most importantly, share it.

By paying as little as a £1 you will help us to create new, inspiring ways for people to come and enjoy the national collection and the world’s most celebrated artists.”

Click here to book tickets for the Art of the Selfie exhibition (16 March 2024 – 26 January 2025).

This is the first time the Van Gogh self-portrait has ever visited Wales. In exchange, Amgueddfa Cymru’s much-loved La Parisienne by Renoir, also known as ‘The Blue Lady’, has made its journey across the Channel. La Parisienne by Renoir will be available to see in the Musée D’Orsay from 26 March as part of the Paris 1874: Inventing Impressionism exhibition.

The loan agreement closes Welsh Government’s dedicated year of Wales in France, which has created ties between the two countries in trade, culture and sport.